Raymond Farley Trantham

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
06 June 1949 - 19 May 1968
Murphy, North Carolina
Panel 63E Line 015



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Raymond Farley Trantham

07 Aug 2008


I have thought of you so many times. You always protected me from bullies on the school bus, and I have always loved you. You are one reason I have such sadness when we, as a nation, are involved in war. You had so little in your life, but you had so much potential that was snuffed out in a moment. I hope to meet you in heaven.

From a childhood friend,
Lynn Loudermilk Brumby
824 Jared Drive, Johnson City, Tn 37604

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The narrative section of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines' Command Chronology for May 1968 contains the following statement:
"On 19 May the Battalion made heavy contact with an estimated 2 NVA Companies. The enemy was dug in along the Main Supply Route extending southwest from Khe Sanh Combat Base."
The Operations Log expands on what happened:
"[At 0700 19 May] Mine sweep team accompanied by reinforced platoon from Company "F" and two tanks triggered enemy ambush at initial range of approximately 25 meters. Contact subsequently revealed reinforced NVA company and prepared bunkers. Road sweep element immediately reinforced by remainder Company "F", standing by at Khe Sanh Combat Base as convoy escort. Company assaulted enemy position and later repulsed counter attack. Company "G" was dispatched to reinforce Company "F" and killed 3 NVA at rear of Company "F" while linking up. Company "E" 2/3 with two tanks dispatched from bridge 3 to reinforce Company "G" and Company "F". After link up of forces, contact was broken and intensive air, artillery, mortars, grenades, and small arms fire was brought upon enemy positions. "F" and "G" Companies established blocking position in direction of enemy attack. Echo 2/3 swept through enemy position from rear driving enemy into blocking force. Sweep and blocking force units engaged enemy by fire. Echo reported 16 NVA KIA. Company "H" patrolling south of contact area, contacted 1 NVA fleeing area. Total casualties 8 friendly KIA, 34 friendly WIA and 66 NVA KIA."
Follow-on reports increased the numbers of both Marines and NVA soldiers killed in the action - for example, during a sweep of the area on 20 May Golf 2/1 found and buried an additional 31 NVA dead. The 18 Marines who died were
  • Echo 2/1:
  • Fox 2/1:
    • Capt Troy R. Oliver, Boise, ID
    • Sgt Walter J. Reece, Marshall, NC
    • Cpl Gerald P. Williber, New Orleans, LA
    • LCpl Michael F. Burleson, Waxahachie, TX
    • LCpl Raymond F. Trantham, Murphy, NC
    • Pfc Harry W. Braun, Hebron, IL
    • Pfc Joseph F. Burnham, Bloomfield, NJ
    • Pfc Lynn B. Coleman, Ashland, MS
    • Pfc James W. Cooper, Nansemond, VA
    • Pfc Lon B. Ewing, Chula Vista, CA
    • Pfc Donald V. Johnson, Dallas, TX
    • Pfc Roger E. Montz, Tonawanda, NY
    • Pfc Patrick C. Riordan, Des Plaines, IL (Silver Star)
    • Pfc Dwight T. Valrie, Ocala, FL
    • Pvt Albert A. Gillespie, Streetsboro, OH

Sunset Cemetery, Murphy, North Carolina

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a childhood friend,
Lynn Loudermilk Brumby
824 Jared Drive, Johnson City, Tn 37604

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 07 Aug 2008
Last updated 11/13/2010