John Gates Spindler

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
01 February 1946 - 21 April 1968
St Louis, Missouri
Panel 51E Line 025


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Gates Spindler

14 Jul 2006

John, you probably already know this, but your classmates at SLUH have renamed the Class of '63 Scholarship fund after you. I know this may not seem much to you, but it is our way of making sure that you will always be remembered, not only by us, but by future Junior Bills. We thank you for your ultimate sacrifice and we guarantee you that none of us will ever forget.

From a high school classmate,
Bob Seitz

11 Nov 2006

Happy Veteran's Day, John. It's another day to honor all our vets, but we think of you much more often than that. We will never forget what you have done for us. Semper Fi, good buddy.

From a high school buddy,
Bob Seitz

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2/3 Marines Chronology for April 1968 contains two entries regarding Golf 2/3's engagements on 21 April:

"210830H - Co G Platoon vicinity XD927443 received 2 incoming rounds believed to be 122mm rockets. The rockets ignited a pile of ammunition that had been staged in the LZ resulting in 4 USMC KIA, 7 USMC WIA (evac), and 1 WIA (not evac)."

"211630 to 212000H - Co's E, G, H while attacking objective at XD795396 received 60mm mortar fire, small arms fire, and grenades from an estimated company of NVA dug in on the reverse slope of the hill in bunkers and spider traps. Returned fire with small arms, artillery and air strikes. Objective seized and held resulting in 21 NVA KIA. Friendly losses 1 USMC KIA 49 USMC WIA."

The first entry reflects 11 casualties incurred while Golf 2/3 was in a pick-up zone awaiting airlift to the day's objective area. A lucky enemy round ignited bulk munitions and the resulting detonations killed four Marines - and almost certainly reduced 2ndLt John Spindler's body to unidentifiable fragments.

Pfc John Coleman was the only Golf 2/3 Marine killed in the assault described in the second entry, but the cost was higher than the "1 USMC KIA" stated in the day's summary. Three Hotel 2/3 Marines died as a result of the assault. The eight men whose deaths are described in the two entries were

  • G Co, 2nd Bn, 3rd Marines
    • 2ndLt John G. Spindler, St Louis, MO (Body not Recovered)
    • LCpl Michael G. Turner, Mc Minnville, OR
    • LCpl David P. Zimmerman, Pasadena, CA
    • Pfc Gary A. Chabert, Metairie, LA
    • Pfc John L. Coleman, Charlotte, NC [gunshot wounds]

  • H Co, 2nd Bn, 3rd Marines
    • Pfc Ronald C. Kearsley, Sandusky, OH
    • Pfc William M. Neeley, Olmsted, IL
    • Pfc Timothy R. Williams, Columbus, OH
In a separate incident Fox 2/3 lost a Navy Corpsman, HM3 Bernard J. Newhouse of St Johns, Michigan.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Jul 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009