James Lloyd Siron

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
24 August 1948 - 21 January 1968
Sedalia, Missouri
Panel 35E Line 009


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Lloyd Siron

19 Feb 2000

A True Uncle

James L. Siron, an uncle and a brother to many.
He fought and died for his country, just like many others.

I did not know my uncle in person
but I do know him in my heart and the stories that were told.

He was a loved man and is truly missed.
I too now fight for my country, but not the way this man did.

He fought with pride, love, honor
and a dream that one day he would get to come home.

No matter if he is here or not,
I still have my "Uncle Jim".

We love and miss you!

Your nephew,
Scott Siron

10 Aug 2004

To the Family of Jim Siron:

I can't put a tag on the impulse that made us want to be Marines.

But there we were, so many of us from Sedalia, Missouri. I was half a tour ahead of Jim and didn't even know he was in the Corps. I had moved away from Sedalia at the beginning of my Senior year (his junior year) and we only corresponded a couple of times and then lost touch.

Boot camp was typical. For those of you who want to get at least an idea of how it was, see the first half of "Full Metal Jacket". It's pretty accurate, if somewhat toned down. Gunny Embry did us proud. A line from the movie still sends chills of pride up my spine ... "I might even let you be a rifleman in my Beloved Corps...". Don't wonder why ANYONE would want to do THAT! It's what every Marine aspires to but so few become... Please don't chastise Jim for that choice. My time associated with those four numbers, 0311, have been and are the pride and the spirit of my life. "Semper Fidelis" is not just a nice sounding Latin phrase. It is a watchword, a challenge, an opportunity and a commitment.

On the day Jim died we (elements of 3rd Bn, 26th Marines) also had cause for hurt. Kilo Company had lost 11 men in the early morning and my company (Lima) lost two in support of Kilo.

To all of those Marines who gave the last full measure of devotion on 21 Jan 1968 I wish fair winds and following seas. And a hearty Semper Fi, buds.

From a high school friend and fellow Marine,
Steve Mcleod
18170 NW Bartley Court, Beaverton, OR 97006

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The post-patrol report for Recon Team LITTLE GULL (2nd Plt, C Company), submitted by message as 3rd Recon Bn 221519Z JAN 68, is contained in the 3rd Recon Bn's Jan 1968 Command Chronology. It states the patrol was made up of nine men, 8 US and one Vietnamese Kit Carson scout, and began its move into its operating area on foot on 15 Jan 1968. Their mission was to determine enemy activity, plot prospective landing zones, and prosecute the enemy using air and/or artillery. The operating area was in the vicinity of Hill 484, about 14 kilometers north-northwest of the Ca Lu Airfield and 23 kilometers north-northeast of the Khe Sanh combat base. After extraction the team's surviving members were debriefed by Captain G. W. O'Dell, who prepared the report quoted below:
"5. Observation of enemy and terrain.
    A. Synopsis: Patrol was ambushed by estimated 30 VC/NVA, results were (6) USMC KIA (1) WIA. Two men evaded and were picked up by helicopter. Patrol also had (1) Kit Carson scout MIA, subsequently returned after escaping from NVA.
    B. Enemy:
        (1) 191510H [3:10 pm, 19 Jan] XD969616. Patrol was moving through 6-8 foot high elephant grass on Hill 484 when they were hit by estimated 30 VC/NVA approximately 20 meters away. Patrol received a heavy volume of M-79, grenades, and automatic weapons fire and sustained 4 USMC killed in this initial burst. The patrol returned fire with M-16 and grenades. The point and Kit Carson Scout were not hit in the initial burst and the point shouted that they were returning to the remainder of the patrol. The patrol heard a long burst of automatic weapons fire and couldn't receive any answer when they called out. (2) USMC killed. The alternate radioman was WIA and had crawled back to the remaining two men. He attempted to return to his radio approximately 20 meters away. Last two men heard him trying to talk on radio when a long burst of automatic weapons fire was fired, voice ceased. Last two men (1) WIA stayed in position approximately 30 minutes firing small arms, then began to move south toward the Rockpile. They accounted for (3) VC/NVA KIA during the time they were at the ambush site. [They] stated the enemy were dressed in black PJs and armed with AK-47s. They also stated that grenades received were not ChiComs but of US variety. Aerial observer on scene but men couldn't signal him, they'd thrown red smoke earlier in attempt but didn't feel they succeeded. While they were moving VC/NVA attempted to cut them off but they managed to evade them. They continued to move and [illegible word] an aerial observer on the morning of the 20th. Helicopter picked up men."
The body of the Chronology contains a summary (page 11) which reads
"During the initial firefight 5 USMC were KIA and 1 WIA. Two men (1 WIA) managed to break contact and evade until picked up by helicopter. An attached Kit Carson scout was captured by the NVA and taken to their harbor site. During the evening he managed to loosen his bonds, overpower his guard, and evaded back to friendly lines. He related that enemy KIAs numbered 15."
There are two discrepancies between the reports quoted above and the casualty database:
  1. The patrol report says 9 men went out - 8 US and 1 KC scout. Captain O'Dell's post-patrol report accounts for all 9 men: 6 killed; 2 recovered; 1 KC scout returned from MIA. The page 11 summary accounts for only 8 men: 5 killed; 2 recovered; 1 KC scout captured, escaped, and returned to friendly lines. The difference in number killed may simply be that Captain O'Dell counted both the point man and the KC scout as killed ("(2) USMC killed.") - but where is the 9th man?
  2. The post-patrol report is quite clear in stating the action occurred on 19 Jan 1968, but the casualty file date of death for the five men listed below is 21 Jan 1968. This discrepancy probably derives from the date the bodies were recovered - 21 Jan 1968.
The five Marines who can be associated with RT LITTLE GULL are:
  • LCpl Merle C. Eicher, Smithfield, PA
  • LCpl Thomas H. Retschulte, Covington, KY
  • Pfc Lawrence E. Bisonett, Clayton, NY
  • Pfc Thomas J. Moody, Guilford, ME
  • Pfc James L. Siron, Sedalia, MO
The Virtual Wall cannot determine with absolute certainty if there was a sixth death involved with LITTLE GULL, but it doesn't seem so. Forty-six Marines and Navy Corpsmen died in Quang Tri Province 19-21 January inclusive, and all 46 have been accounted for by unit and respective unit diary entries.

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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 Feb 2000
Last updated 08/10/2009