James Mitchell TrimbleCorporal
G CO, 2ND BN, 26TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
30 January 1949 - 06 April 1968
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The database page for James Mitchell Trimble
REMEMBEREDby his niece.
A Note from The Virtual WallIn Apr 1968 the 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines, was holding Hills 558 and 861A west of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. On 06 Apr Golf 2/26 was tasked with patrolling a north-south ridgeline about 2 kilometers west of Hill 558. The company departed the Hill 558 position at 0700 and approached the crest at about 1100. Before reaching the crest of the ridge Golf 2/26 came under heavy enemy fire and was held in place through the afternoon but were withdrawn to Hill 558 before sundown. Golf 2/26 brought out their wounded and two of their dead, but were forced to leave six Marines on the battlefield. Air and artillery strikes were called in to cover the Marines' withdrawal.
The Commanding Officer of 2/26 proposed, and the Regimental Commander approved, a two-pronged assault of the ridgeline for 07 May. Fox 2/26 departed Hill 558 well before first light in order to arrive at a line of departure north of the ridgeline. Golf 2/26 departed Hill 558 at first light in hopes of distracting the enemy from Fox 2/26's movement and to position for an assault from the east side of the ridge.
Although the attack was planned for 1200, circumstances prevented the two companies from getting into position before 1400. On commencement, Golf was attacking into the enemy's line while Fox's flanking attack from the north was able to roll up their line. The northern two-thirds of the enemy position was captured, with the NVA withdrawing toward the southern end of the ridge. At that point, Fox was strung out along several hundred meters of the ridgeline and Golf was not able to complete an uphill assault against the southern end of the ridgeline before nightfall. Although 2/26 wanted to leave both companies in position through the night, permission was refused and once again the two companies withdrew to Hill 558, again forced to leave some of their dead behind. Once again, air and artillery fires blanketed the ridgeline.
A battalion attack was planned for 10 Apr and executed as scheduled. When the Marines reached the top of the ridgeline they met no resistance - the NVA had abandoned their positions and retreated into the jungles to the west.
What began as a patrol action had ended up as a major action which cost the lives of 26 Marines and sailors:
Golf 2/26, 06 May:
Fox and Golf 2/26, 07 May:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Nov 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009