Kenneth Stetson was born 14 January 1946 in Chadron Nebraska to Eleanora L. Stetson-Hendrickson (1921 - 2005)
and Lester Stetson (1912 - 1973). His family farmed and ranched in the Chadron and Crawford Nebraska area until 1959 when the family
moved to the Longmont Colorado area.
It was in High School that Kenny and Janet Irene Yeager met during their sophomore year of high school. He enjoyed and was good at football
and wrestling. They were married June 25, 1965 in Longmont, Colorado
Kenny enlisted in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to enter the service. He did not wish to be drafted into the Army so he
signed up for the program in Denver, Colorado on December 15, 1966, entering on active duty shortly thereafter. He finished bootcamp and
went to Vietnam, arriving June 26, 1967. He was assigned to E Battery of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines as part of a Forward Observer
Team for Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.
The February 1968 Command Chonology Report stated for G Company on the 17th: "From 171047H until 171705, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines
units located in the vicinity of (YD761205), (YD763207), (YD748027) and (YD759206), were plagued with incidents involving sniper fire,
automatic weapons fire, several rounds of B-40 rockets, 60mm mortars and 82 mortars. A 120 rounds of 81mm mortar was
returned on suspect enemy mortar positions. Results: 2 USMC KIA, 20 USMC WIA and 10NVA/VC KIA (Confirmed)."
At 1000 hours, LCPL Kenneth Earl Stetson, Longmont
Colorado, part of the Forward Observer
team from E Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines with G Company, was evacuated as WIA. His records show he "died 2115 hours at 3rd Medical
Battalion, Phu Bai, after being wounded by a gunshot wound to the body from hostile rifle fire while on an operation against a hostile
force sustained 1000 hours Thua Thien Province." The attachment to G Company was confirmed by a list of KIA/WIA maintained by David
Warner's Company Commander Colonel (Ret) Chuck Meadows (Read his story here). Visit the
Peace Trees Vietnam Project website.
A journal entry for later that morning reported:
At 1125 hours, 17 February 1968, G Company was on a search and destroy operation near grid coordinates YD774207 when they received
automatic weapons and small arms fire. They returned fire with their automatic weapons and small arms. They were to search area.
As a result of the contact,
the Marines lost one Killed in Action (KIA) and 2 wounded in action (WIA).
One squad member wounded was PFC Rudy Bustamante who was evacuated and recovered from his wounds.
Coffelt Database records show that
LCPL John Frederick Lewis, Joliet Illinois, died from his gunshot wounds.
CPL David Howard Warner, Mercer Island, Washington, was killed instantly from gunshot wounds to
the head and body.
The First Marine Division, including G Company, 5th Marines, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for the period 31 January to 2 March
1968, for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against enemy forces during Operation HUE CITY conducted in
Thua Thien Province.
- - The Virtual Wall
April 3, 2013