William Byron StutesSergeant
H CO, 2ND BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
07 October 1941 - 10 September 1967
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The database page for William Byron Stutes
William Byron Stutes was my brother. I don't remember too much about him because I was only 12 years old when he was killed. I do remember one trip that we took to Arkansas after his first tour of duty. He was very upset about the things that went on over in Vietnam and the friends and buddies that he lost. I remember this grown man sitting on our mother's lap and crying like a baby. The night before we left for Arkansas my brother and my older sister got in a water fight and then it became a mud fight. They were covered from head to toe with mud - my mother took the hose and hosed them down. I don't think I will ever forget the way they looked.
From his sister,
William Byron "Bud" Stutes was my brother, my best friend, and a good Marine. We met at Columbia Elementary school in El Monte, California, in September 1955 and became the best of friends. His mother Annie took me under her wing like I was one of her own as my parents did Bud. We were separated in 1956 and remet in March 1957 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where again we became brothers. We worked together at Uncle John's Pancake House and we played together doing things that I still laugh at today. We joined the Marine Corps together on the buddy system on July 15, 1960 but then got separated after boot camp. After we were released from active duty in 1964 he decided to re-up and wanted me to go with him. I had a broken shoulder at that time and I asked him to wait until my shoulder healed and I would go. But Bud did not want to wait and went without me. That was the last time that I saw him.
He was shot and killed in action September 10, 1967 during a search-and-destroy mission in Quang Tin Province. Bud was a good Marine, a good friend, and my Brother. I loved Bud and I miss him.
Linn M. Moncrief
A Note from The Virtual WallOperation SWIFT was an unplanned response to a major attack on Delta 1/5 Marines' night defensive position in the Que Son Valley before dawn on 04 Sep 1967. Bravo 1/5 was dispatched from Que Son to assist Delta but was itself engaged before it could reach the Delta 1/5 position. Kilo and Mike 3/5 Marines, together with the 1/5 Command Group, were helo-lifted into position northeast of where Delta and Bravo 1/5 were engaged. By midafternoon, all four rifle companies were heavily engaged with what turned out to be a regimental-plus NVA force. India 3/5 was committed late in the day, and Delta 1/1 was brought in during the night of 04/05 Sep. On the morning of 05 Sep, the Marine line-up consisted of
07 Sept was spent in reorganization, resupply, and preparation for a deliberate sweep to contact planned for 09 Sep. Eleven Marine rifle companies were now in hand:
One exception was at Hill 43, which had been the scene of heavy fighting on 06 Sep. When a platoon from Hotel 2/5 approached Hill 43 on 10 Sep they found an NVA company had reoccupied the hill. Hotel 2/5, supported by heavy air and artillery strikes, took Hill 63 by storm but lost nine men in the effort:
Operation SWIFT was a Marine reaction to a well-planned and executed NVA incursion into the Que Son Valley. The Marines' flexibility and maneuverability and the availability of air and artillery support turned the tide. The NVA lost 540 confirmed dead and 47 POWs, and there was evidence that 600 or more bodies had been removed as the NVA withdrew.
Although SWIFT was a very decided win for the Marines, it came at a high price: 138 Marines and sailors killed in action, 368 evacuated with wounds.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 May 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009