David Howard Warner, born in Seattle Washington on March 22, 1946, to Marvel Jean and Robert Warner.
His family came to Mercer Island Washington in 1953. Corporal Warner was a 1964 graduate of Mercer Island High School. He attended Central
Washington State College before joining the Marine Corps.
Dave entered on active duty 29 March 1966 at Seattle Washington and was assigned to the 3rd
Recruit Training Battalion,
Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego California. He completed his training by 3 June 1966 and awaited
assignment until 12 July 1966.
He was then assigned to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendelton California for advanced training until August 26,
1966 when, upon completion of training, Dave was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, Kanaohe, Hawaii, until 4 July 1967.
At that time, he went on leave because he received orders to Vietnam after volunteering for assignment there.
Below is a picture of Dave with his two sisters, Marci (right) and Sue (front)
taken when he was home on leave.
Dave arrived in Vietnam on 1 August 1967 and was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines as a
Rifleman. On 30 October 1967, he was reassigned from the field to an Assistant Supply NCO at An Hoa because of a knee injury. He became
Supply NCO on 1 January 1968 and remained in that position until his reassignment back into the field. Below is a photo of him working in
supply at An Hoa.
In the first few days of the Battle of Hue City, Dave heard about what was going on there and insisted
that his Sergeant send him up to fight with his Golf 2/5 brothers. The effective date of that reassignment was 5 February when Dave went to
Hue to be a squad leader.
The Marine Chronological Report for the period states: "The Second Battalion, 5th Marines participated in Operaton HUE City from 3 to 29
February 1967. During this time, the battalion was constantly engaged with a tenacious and professionally competent enemy. Close combat
consisted of combat in a built up area and conventional land warfare". The entry below was one of the first of many days of
combat for Dave Warner.
The fighting continued like this for Dave and his unit as they continued the effort to expel the NVA and Viet Cong
from Hue. As reported in the Mercer Island Reporter article about Dave's funeral arrangements, it says, in part: "Some excerpts from David's
last letter home follow:
"As for Golf Company itself, we are up for three US Citations and two Viet Nam Citations. I would wear those even if I stayed in
supply. The Regimental Commander called Golf Company the best damned bunch of street fighters he had ever seen."
"As I understand it, the President mentioned G-2/5 in a radio and TV speech. Golf has definitely won its fame in Hue. The city was once
beautiful but looks like hell now. All the buildings have been sacked and we've broken into all the houses. Most of the city has been at
least damaged by artillery and mortars. Just recently they've been making air strikes also."
"With all of this and all the casualties we've taken, we are very definitely winning. If Westmoreland was right about their three-phase
plan, then they are hurting, and a truce of some kind should be in order before the summer's end. We have taken on their best and beat them."
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 journal entry describing the events of 10 February 1967 that resulted in Dave being awarded the Navy Commendation with Combat "V" for
"Engineers working with Company G in an effort to destroy a bridge, vicinity (YD772209) received an intensive volume of
small arms/automatic weapons fire from the enemy in the vicinity of (YD772208). The Company G Marines returned small arms/automatic
weapons fire, causing the enemy to break contact and flee. Results: 2 USMC WIA and 1 USMC KIA."
The engineer killed in the attack was
PFC John James Mc Elroy, Karns City, Pennsylvania. CPL Warner's citation reads:
In addition to the Navy Commendation Medal, David was the recipient of the following awards during time
in service with the United States Marine Corps in the United States, Hawaii, and Vietnam (roll mouse over photo).
His sister wrote, "He was killed while clearing the outskirts of the south side of the Perfume River.
Lcpl John "Jack" Frederick Lewis was killed in the same incident."
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.
David's sister said in her email to The Virtual Wall, "I've talked with two of the men who served in Dave's squad
and were with him that day. They praise his leadership skills and his strength of character. Dave always managed to smile,
even in the worst of circumstances. He never asked them to do something he wouldn't do himself. He looked after his men, he taught
them well, and they love him still."
"Dave is buried at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, 1215 145th Pl SE, Bellevue, Washington, at the base of the US
flagpole, south end of the cemetery."
- - Photos and Information courtesy of
and used with permission from
Warner Bean, sister, April 5, 2013
- - The Virtual Wall, April 6, 2013