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Michael McNeely


by Wilson Rotary

I joined the United States Marine Corps March 25, 1963 and went active duty June 25, 1963.  I went to Marine Corps ‘Boot Camp’ in San Diego, California for four months and then on to Camp Pendleton for Marine Infantry Training for six weeks and then joined Foxtrot Company 2nd Battalion 5th Marines on Camp Pendleton sometime in November.

Battalion 2/5 shipped out to Okinawa the first part of 1964 and became 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines on Camp Schwab for our 13-month overseas tour.  The latter part of February we went for war games in Taiwan for around a month then on to Mt. Fuji Japan for two months of cold weather training.  We returned to Okinawa and went to Northern training area and started our jungle training which was cut short as part of us were flown back to Camp Schwab to get ready to go to Vietnam.

I was part of our Company that was sent to Vietnam and we became Advisory Team One doing classified operations in Northern part of South Vietnam.  We stayed on land for four months and rejoined our Battalion 3/3 which was on float duty off the coast of Vietnam until the first part of 1965 when we returned to stateside back to Camp Pendleton and became Foxtrot Company 2nd Battalion 1st Marines.  We stayed stateside until August 1965.  

Battalion 2/1 shipped out in August 1965 for Vietnam where we pulled five dagger thrust raids up and down the coast of Vietnam in the Fall of 1965 and our first big operation was Operation Harvest Moon in December 10-19 and after that we moved into Phu Bai North of Da Nang around 50 or so miles from Da Nang.  We pulled operations and day and night patrols in that area along with Company Operations.

My last operation was Operation Hastings up on the DMZ and my company hotel Company 2/1 went in on that operation on July 16, 1966.  We had action every day and night.  On the night of July 21, 1966 the North Vietnam troops opened on us with small arms fire then they dropped in 82mm mortars and that was when I was hit from the mortar attack.  I was hit on the left side of my head, my left leg, my back and right arm.  We ended up having two killed in action and 13 of us were wounded.  I, along with others that had head wounds, were helilifted out of there around 1:30 in the morning to the USS Repose (the hospital ship).  I had 9 days left to do in Vietnam when I was to have been out of Vietnam on August 1 back to stateside.  I got out of there around the 15th of August and returned to stateside.

I had orders to report to 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune where I ended my enlistment and was honorably discharged June 25,1967.

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