Daniel Coleman 2471918 Rockford Illinois Pfc. United States Marine Corps 2nd Platoon Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division KIA 24 Feb 69 31W 22
Danny Coleman as I remember was fairly new, maybe two or three months in country. Jed, two or three months was new, the worst time was the first two or three months and the last two or three months. Don't know why I don't remember too much more about Danny, but I do remember that day. Moving through the Cam Sa's was not too bad, being desert you could see pretty good. But the closer you came to the river you ass puckered up. On the other side of the river was jungle, and you could not see too far into the jungle. You became instant targets within about 200 yards of the river, so you kind of played a game and stayed out about 300 yards just out of range. You would kinda move in to the bottom of the bend in the river.
You dropped off a squad that crossed the river and moved behind you and would open up when the rest of the company or what ever took fire. We would reinforce the squad with a second bloop gun and a second M60, cause it was usually the bloopers and the 60's that returned fire.
You know, now that I have read what I just wrote, fuck what a game, become a walking target, stay just out of their range, and hope they don't use their mortars. Fuck all these years I never thought of it that way.
Well, anyway Danny was a rifleman with the trailing squad, we had just taken fire and the trailing squads bloopers and 60's opened up. The squad was over 400 meters from the position where the fire was coming from. Next thing I knew is the squad was radioing me to get a medevac going, they had one KIA and three WIA'S. The firing at that time was down to one shot every once in a while. But that one shot was deadly, we had two snipers on the other side of the river and they were fuckin good. In less than a couple of minutes the snipers had us pinned down digging holes in the sand, they had also wounded three more after the initial medevac call.
A "Swift" medevac bird came on station and after talking to me for a sit-rep called gun ship support. As I remember the Gun ship birds were from a Gunslinger outfit flying Huey's, their first pass they hit the tree line across the river with 2.75's and their 60's, they made four passes in all. The medevac birds were coming in and we started to take fire again, the gun ships like sharks dropped down and hit the tree line again. That was enough to get the guys loaded and the Swift Medevac Bird to get going. Come to find out the shot that killed Danny had gone through one of the 60 "A" gunners wounding him but continued on and got Danny in the heart.
Rumor was it was a pair of female snipers, one of which called the Apache Woman by Carlos Hathcock. Carlos went out after and killed the Apache Woman around hill 55, just to our west. Later that winter we did find a buried Russian sniper rifle in the Cam Sa's.
A toast to my friend Daniel Coleman, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.