Montague Lyons

United States Marine Corps
30 September 1946 - 06 December 1967
Walton, Kentucky
Panel 31E Line 049


Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Montague Lyons

19 Dec 2001

Monty, I think about you often, we were stationed together and were friends. I know the Wall lists you as being from Kentucky but we both know you were from Ohio. I wish I could contact some of your family and let them know what really happened.

He was in a listening post and at about 3 AM the US while bombing by radar dropped the bomb on the wrong spot killing him and the other Marine there with him. The listing shows him killed by enemy artillery, it was what would now be called a friendly fire incident. He was due to come back into the office at 8 AM to be processed and sent home.

21 Aug 2003

I did swap emails with his sister in law, so now someone in his family finally knows what happened.

Jim Ball

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Throughout most of December 1967 the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines were manning an outpost just south of the Demilitarized Zone and half-way between the artillery positions at Con Thien and Gio Linh. All three positions were within easy range of North Vietnamese artillery stationed within the DMZ. The 1/4 Operations Log for 06 December contains the following entry for 1430H (2:30 pm):
"1/4 perimeter at YD153728 received approximately 100 rounds 82mm mortar, 25 rounds unknown caliber artillery, unknown number of 60mm [mortar] and RPG rounds. Received small arms and automatic weapons fire from all sides of the perimeter from approximately one Company of NVA. Medevac helo on ground hit by RPG and destroyed. Returned 81mm, 60mm mortar, A/W, M-79s, and small arms. Called artillery and gunships. 6 friendly KIA, 37 friendly WIA; 1 NVA KIA (confirmed), 19 NVA KIA (probable)."
The six men killed in this attack were
  • A Company:
    • SSgt Eugene Collins, Norfolk, VA

  • C Company:
    • Cpl James D. Rader, Yorktown, VA

  • D Company:
    • Sgt Jerold L. Kastrinos, Leadville, CO
    • Sgt Montague Lyons, Walton, KY
    • LCpl Wayne A. Hutchinson, Miami, FL
    • Pfc Donald E. Harp, Miamisburg, OH
If that wasn't enough, there was more to come. The following entry is from 2020H [8:20 pm]:
"(From Co C at YD153728) TPQ being run as part of night defensive fires dropped short bomb on lines and Listening Post. Restricted all TPQs to a minimum of 1500 meters. 6 friendly KIA, 2 friendly WIA."
The TPQ-81 radar was a ground-based system which provided a pilot with flight vectors to an ordnance release point which would deliver the weapons to a desired ground location - if everything worked properly. There were a lot of "moving parts" in TPQ bombing, though; the aircraft had to be flown at an exact altitude, airspeed, and heading; the winds and air temperatures had to be accurately known from the release altitude down to the ground; and the desired impact point had to be exactly located relative to the TPQ-81 radar's location. If any of these factors were even a bit off the impact point would be off too ... as it was on this night, with the first bomb in the string hitting short. The six men killed by the errant bomb were
  • C Company:
    • Cpl James D. Plecity, Madison, WI
    • LCpl John W. Jones, Fremont, CA
    • LCpl Michael J. Pastva, Lakewood, OH
    • Pfc Raymond E. Dyrdahl, Salt Lake City, UT
    • Pfc James R. Miller, Cleveland, OH
    • Pfc James L. Wade, Vidalia, GA

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 19 Dec 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009