Ronald Paul Sisson

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
26 October 1942 - 16 December 1965
Hulberton, New York
Panel 04E Line 019


Silver Star

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronald Paul Sisson

09 Sep 2007

Ronald Paul Sisson was my Father's best friend. I never got a chance to meet him, he died in Vietnam before I was born. My father spoke of him through the years, in fact I am named after him.

I have seen pictures of him and the letters he had sent home from the war. He has left a lasting mark of bravery and courage in my heart that I will pass on to my children.

From a friend,
Paula Ochs
11 Bobbie Drive, Rochester, New York 14606

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Force Recon Company's Command Chronology for December 1965 contains the operations order and after-action report for the mission on which Corporal Joy and three other Americans died. According to OpOrd 4 dated 13 Dec 1965, the mission was a joint USMC/Special Forces effort which involved
  • 11 Marines from the 1st Force Recon Co
  • 1 Army Special Forces sergeant
  • 68 indigenous troops from the Ba To Special Forces camp (Det A-106, 5th SF Grp)
  • Two CIDG companies at Camp An Thai as a reaction force.
The force was to be inserted into an area near Hill 508 in Quang Tin Province, establish a base camp, and conduct patrols in an effort to locate a regimental HQ of the 325th NVA Division. The forces departed at 0530, 14 Dec 1965, the base camp was established atop a hill at BS640329, and three recon teams began their work in the area. The teams spotted a number of armed enemy troops and located several staging and supply camps but avoided any engagements with the enemy. By 1730, 16 Dec, the recon teams had returned to the patrol base and the force began preparations to return to Ba To at 0600, 17 Dec.

At about 1900 two mortar rounds landed on the north side of the hill - but that was only the beginning of a vicious mortar attack accompanied by a ground assault by 150-200 VC and NVA troops. The friendly force was unable to establish a coherent defensive perimeter and lacked sufficient manpower to both defend the portions of the hill still held and counter-attack the areas captured by the VC/NVA. When it became apparent that the hilltop could not be held, the allied force broke into small groups and withdrew into the surrounding jungle with the intent of evading back to Ba To.

The withdrawing troops dribbled into the Ba To Special Forces Camp throughout 17 and 18 Dec. By the 19th there were 25 men still missing - 4 Marines, 1 Special Forces sergeant, and 20 CIDG troops. At first light on 21 Dec a force of 7 Marines, 4 Army Special Forces troops, 3 Australians, and 120 indigenous troops departed Ba To in search of the MIAs. The recovery effort was not opposed and 14 bodies were located - 4 Americans and 10 South Vietnamese. Thirteen bodies were extracted by helicopter at 1330 - but somehow the body of Army SFC Grayson West was left behind. He was recovered by a second mission on 22 Dec 1965.

In the meantime, one Marine and a number of South Vietnamese MIAs had made their way back to Ba To. Four Americans had been killed in the operation:

  • 2nd Platoon, 1st Force Recon Company
    • Cpl Raymond S. Joy, Abernathy, TX
    • LCpl William R. Moore, Richmond, CA (Silver Star)
    • LCpl Ronald P. Sisson, Hulberton, NY (Silver Star)

  • Det A-106, 5th Special Forces Group
    • SFC Grayson J. West, Webster City, IA (Silver Star)

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Paula Ochs
11 Bobbie Drive, Rochester, New York 14606

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 09 Sep 2007
Last updated 11/13/2010