Lance Norman JenkinsLance Corporal
B CO, 1ST BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
14 May 1949 - 06 December 1967
Vineland, New Jersey
Panel 31E Line 048
The database page for Lance Norman Jenkins
In 1967 when Mike McNalty showed me the copy of the Wilmington Evening Journal, it said that you had stepped on a booby trap and had been killed. As my best friend you were always there to cheer me up in those days at Dickinson. That day was the worst day of my life. Both Mike and I had tears in our eyes as we remembered all the crazy things we used to do in school. I have thought about you often over the years and even when I was in Nam myself, I never forgot all the smiles and jokes, and it made my time in Nam easier to bear. It's taken 35 years for me to say this to you. I tried, the one time I was at the Wall in D.C., but I couldn't bring those memories back yet. Your death was not in vain, as long as those who knew you remember. Rest in peace, my friend.
From a friend,
Uncle Lance, I was visiting with a neighbor today who is a Viet Nam vet. He was asking some questions about you so I looked you up. I found this web site and you! I called mom right away to share the news with her. You have lived on in our hearts these many years and are missed and loved.
Well, I found this small spot for you, little buddy. It has been a lot of years since they killed you. I wasn't there, team leader, neither was Jim, sorry about that. I was down in Dong Ha with my new outfit and Jim was tending his neck wounds from the rocket attack at Con Thien. I heard about it though and cried for days even over Christmas. You were a good foxhole buddy, we humped through quite a few ambushes, patrols and sweeps side by side. I still miss you. I have never forgotten you. I have been to the memorial a couple of times just to say hello, not just to you but to quite a few friends. Your name is enshrined in my shadow box. You'd be proud.
War's like that for us, no reunions, nothing to really talk about, just more killing and dying, nothing anyone really wants to hear anyway. You know, Perry, Mann, and Vaughn got it on the same day. A couple of new guys bought it too during the 81 attacks. Mike, the guy who replaced me, lost his arm so he got a ticket home. I felt bad about Mann, just having his kid and all. The Rockpile was a nasty place. I suppose there is no good place to die.
I hate to tell you this but it got a lot worse for Bravo. 1/9 went to Khe Sanh just before Tet and wound up on some hill called 861 where they were cut off and hammered plus our choppers once again couldn't or wouldn't get in to medevac or bring in supplies. Some really awful things happened on that hill. So, you did miss a lot of pain and suffering. They called us the "Bloody Bastards" then, but it changed to "the walking dead". I don't know, we just died a lot then.
Never heard or saw Dawson again but he did survive. I briefly saw Jim once again. I have never bothered to try to look him up. He had it a lot tougher than either of us. He is tough though and like I said, nothing to talk about anyway. He did survive the war. I don't know if he survived the peace. Lance, it was bad coming home in 68. I spent a lot of anger in those early years but I got to tell you Lance, I almost made it through college, went to France, New Zealand and Aussie for 5 years. I got married twice, divorced twice, had two kids, a boy and a girl. They are both grown now. My daughter just graduated college, married and moved away. I hope she moves back. I have a grandson too, almost a year old, kiddo.
Can you believe? Somehow I stayed out of prison and remarkably stayed alive. I have worked for the Boeing Company for over 20 years. I even have my own place in the burbs, plus a dog, cat and a fish, a truck in the driveway and a sports car in the garage.
With tears running down my cheeks, I want to say goodbye to you now. You are missed. You and I dodged a awful lot of rounds together and threw a lot of grenades. I think of you often. Take care of heaven for me.
From the Gunner, Bravo Company, 1/9,
A Note from The Virtual WallFrom the 1/9 Command Chronology for December 1967:
The Virtual Wall can identify only 6 of the 7 Americans who were killed in the attack described above. They are
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
John E. Rubincan
E-mail address is not available. 1 Oct 2002
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/13/2010