Lester Milton NessCorporal
I CO, 3RD BN, 4TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
12 December 1948 - 27 January 1968
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The database page for Lester Milton Ness
REMEMBERED BY A FRIEND.
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A Note from The Virtual WallIn mid-January 1968 the North Vietnamese Army moved elements of the 320th NVA Division into the area south of the DMZ, apparently in preparation for the Tet Offensive. On 24 Jan 1968 the 64th NVA Regiment ambushed a truck convoy moving west from Dong Ha toward Camp Carroll on Route 9. The Marines at Camp Carroll launched a reaction force consisting of two tanks, two M42 "Dusters", and an infantry platoon from Hotel 2/9 Marines. The reaction force itself was hit by the 64th NVA Regiment with five deaths:
After nightfall, LtCol Bendell redeployed his Marines, with Mike 3/4 on what was now known as "Mike's Hill", India 3/4 on a hill about one kilometer west, and Lima 3/4 on a higher hill to the south. At about 0300 27 Jan NVA troops assaulted Mike's Hill from three sides. As dawn approached, the attack produced a confused melee on the hilltop. LtCol Bendell directed Lima 3/4 to attack the NVA from their position to the south and India 3/4 to move from the west toward Mike's Hill. India and Lima both encountered stiff resistance but managed to link up and by 1400 had broken into the NVA defensive positions. By 1700 the NVA force, estimated to be in battalion strength, had been forced from the field of battle.
The fight for control of Route 9 had been costly to both sides. Over 130 NVA dead and large quantities of enemy weapons were policed from the field, but the 3/4 Marines lost at least 20 men in the fighting:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009