William Russo

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
03 September 1948 - 28 May 1968
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Panel 64W Line 015


Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Russo

20 Aug 2006

My brother, my best friend ... A day doesn't go by that I don't think about you and our younger years.

I hope you're looking down and your watching over my family. I wish you were here to enjoy all the times with your nieces and nephews. I miss you, my brother. I love you.

Your brother

Raymond Russo

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 22 May 1968 a Marine company "dawn patrol" just south of the DMZ came across a large North Vietnamese Army unit in its bivouac area. Many of the NVA soldiers were still asleep, while others were going about their early morning affairs. The Marines promptly attacked the NVA, forcing them to withdraw in disarray with heavy casualties. Other Marine forces were brought in and the contact developed into a full-fledged battle with a reinforced NVA battalion. By 27 May the surviving NVA had been cordoned into an area around the hamlets of Ky Lam and Ky Truc. On 28 May Lima Company, 3/3 Marines, assaulted the NVA position at Ky Lam. The 3/3 after-action report contains the following entry:
"At 1400H at YD245670 after heavy preparation fires Company "L" attacked and encountered heavy resistance from an unknown size enemy unit fighting from a well prepared position. Tanks and gunships were used to break contact. Company "L" at YD247673 broke contact at 1815H."
Following Lima 3/3's withdrawal additional heavy supporting fires were brought in on the NVA positions while the five Marine companies which formed the cordon consolidated their positions. During the night of 28/29 and throughout 29 May NVA troops attempted, and in some cases managed, to work their way through the Marines lines. At sun-up on 30 May the Marines swept the battle area, meeting little resistance. Many NVA dead were found, dozens of "dazed, demoralized, and exhausted" prisoners were taken, and considerable amounts of weaponry and supplies captured. Although the fight was considered a significant victory for the Marines, Lima 3/3 had lost ten men in the attack on Ky Lam:
  • Sgt Barry G. Bartle, Longwood, FL
  • Cpl Gerald D. Conley, Pittsburgh, PA
  • HM3 Ronald G. Hembree, Andrews, NC, Corpsman, H&S Co with Lima 3/3
  • Cpl Pelesasa S. Tauanuu, Honolulu, HI
  • LCpl Paul J. Kohler, North Branch, MI, radioman, H&S Co with Lima 3/3
  • LCpl Phillip D. Miller, Quakertown, PA
  • LCpl William Russo, Elizabeth, NJ
  • LCpl Shirley Wildy, Panama City, FL
  • Pfc Ronnie W. Smith, Huntsville, AL
  • Pfc Fred L. Thrift, Mobile, AL

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Raymond Russo

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Aug 2006
Last updated 08/28/2006