James Charles Vandeventer

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
04 March 1950 - 01 May 1969
Lancaster, CA
Panel 26W Line 095


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Charles Vandeventer

19 Apr 2003


The surviving members of the company have you in our thoughts always!

A Note from The Virtual Wall

At the end of April 1969, elements of the 3rd and 9th Marines relocated to positions just south of the Demilitarized Zone in preparation for a major operation called "Virginia Ridge". Master Gunnery Sergeant Gary Stanley, veteran of Vietnam, Beirut, the first Gulf War and Somalia, recalls the fighting on 01 and 10 May 1969 in which the Marines listed below died.

On 1 May the company [Delta 1/3] stumbled into about two platoons of NVA dug in between two hills. We had a day-long fire fight. During that time, 1st Platoon, trying to slip around the NVA flank, ran into an ambush and took quite a few casualties. They managed to fight their way back to the company, but left several wounded and KIAs. It wasn't until the next morning before we got to them and by then all were KIA. Horn and Foley were both killed at that time. Both were already the owners of two Purple Hearts.

On 10 May we [3rd Platoon and 60mm mortars] were on a small hill on Mutter's Ridge just south of the DMZ. We were hit by at least two platoons of NVA (probably the same group we encountered on the 1st) at 0330 and fought till around 0600. We had to drive the NVA off the hill twice during that time. We had about 25 wounded to go with the KIA. There was some very close-up fighting that morning, even a few cases of hand to hand.

I still have dreams of the 10 May fight. Thomas Heise was my best friend, Robert Hansen was my squad leader and SSgt Bell was our Platoon Sergeant. The rest of my squad had five more WIA of the remaining seven.

All the Marines in these two fights fought like Marines have always fought, with pride, honor, and love for one another. The men killed from both these days died with honor. They fought and died as warriors. They will live in the hearts and minds of those of us that were lucky enough to have survived that hellhole.

Gary Stanley
Master Gunnery Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
03 Sep 2003

My name is Sergeant Tom Little, Bravo 1/1, USMC (Retired). I went to High School with Jim Vandeventer, the Class of 1968, Antelope Valley High School. Jim and I had PE and History together. I guess what I want to say is I'm SORRY I did not find out about his death until 09-01-03. After Vietnam I was in the hospital for two years. After that I never went back home. I now live in Winner, S.D., retired from the U.S. Marines. So I got up the nerve to mentally go back to my class of 1968 [A.V.H.S.]. Well, that's about it. I don't know how many more of Jim's friends are out there, BUT Thank You for a way to ask publicly for Jim to forgive me for being so late doing something so very important.

Your fellow classmate,
Tommy Little

817 West 6th St, Winner, S.D.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009