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The Vietnam War

In April 1966, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division located at Camp Pendleton, CA deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. During the next five years, the battalion participated in combat operations in Hue, Que Son, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, and Phu Loc and ran combat operations out of their firebase at An Hoa. The battalion returned to Camp Pendleton in 1971.

The Vietnam War was a long, costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam, the NVA, and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The divisive war, increasingly unpopular at home, ended with the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973 and the unification of Vietnam under Communist control two years later. More than 3 million people, including more than 58,000 Americans, were killed in the conflict.

Over 25 years, the Vietnam conflict escalated from an attempt to stop the spread of communism into a full-scale war.  It was tactics and strategy, not firepower that caused the United States to lose the War in Vietnam.  We American Soldiers fought and won the battles and the United States politicians back in Washington, D.C. lost the war.

Hotel Company 2/5

During their years in Vietnam, from 1966 – 1971, Hotel Company conducted expeditionary, combined-arms combat, and mechanized operations in the I Corp Region of Vietnam and has lived up to our motto “Retreat Hell” in the battles and campaigns we fought in throughout our years in Vietnam. Our company nickname became known as ”The Horrible Hog”.

Hotel Company was one of four combat companies attached to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division while serving in Vietnam. Others included Echo Company, Foxtrot Company, Golf Company, H&S Company, and Weapons Company.

The 5th Marines spent five years in Vietnam between 1966–71, much of that time-based in a small, remote village called An Hoa in the province of Quang Nam in central South Vietnam. Serving as one of three infantry regiments of the 1st Marine Division (1st MarDiv), along with the 1st and 7th Marines, the 5th Marines at An Hoa was the closest Marine unit to North Vietnamese Army (NVA) units infiltrating Vietnam from Laos, home to the network of roads known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division personnel were the first 5th Marines unit to permanently deploy to Vietnam, arriving at Chu Lai on 12 April 1966 making their presence known.

In February of 1968, Captain Ron Christmas was the Company Commander of Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines when 2/5 was tasked with clearing the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces that had occupied the city of Hue in the Thura Thien-Hue Province of South Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.  The Battle for Hue is remembered as the most violent urban combat that US Forces would participate in during the Vietnam War Captain Christmas and the Marines and Sailors of Hotel Company would distinguish themselves mightily during this fight which none had been trained for prior to moving into Hue.

Captain Ron Drez was the Commanding Officer from late 1968 through the Spring of 1969 receiving the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Maui Peak and a second Bronze Star Medal during Mead River.  His courage, superb leadership, and his upfaulting devotion to duty and to his men during operation Common Taylor and Muskogee Meadow earned him the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with silver star for heroism in combat and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Hotel Company operated in and around the combat base An Hoa, Liberty Road, Phu Loc 6, Hill 65, and Liberty Bridge from late 1968 through March 1971 time period.  We fought battles in the Annamite Range of the Que Son Mountains (aka Charlie Ridge), the Arizona Territory, Dodge City, Go Noi Island, and many other locations within the Quang Nam Province in the I Corps TAOR throughout its 5 ½ years that Hotel Company was in Vietnam.

Hotel Company assisted in the dismantling and de-construction of the An Hoa Combat Base being the last Marines to leave An Hoa, turning it over to the ARVN’s in early 1971, then returning back to the United States.

Shortly after the Vietnam War, The USMC modernized and reorganized its combat units to make them smaller in the number of troops in each battalion.  Therefore, Delta, Hotel, and Lima companies were decommissioned and retired as combat company units.

Hotel Company has always taken care of their own. We who served in Hotel will always be family. We are forever dedicated to carrying for our “brothers”. Our call to serve in Vietnam placed heavy demands and sacrifices on each one of us and our families.  We fought in our Nation’s longest (at the time), most controversial war, where we never lost a battle but eventually lost the war.

Many of us who served together in Vietnam in those years, get together at annual reunions throughout the United States in different cities to stop and pay respect for our KIA, honor our TAPS members, and reminisce the memories of the events and activities we experienced in those days of the Vietnam War.

Attention Hotel 2/5 Members:

Our next reunion will be the third week in September 2024 in Seattle, Washington.  Sept 18 – 22, 2024.  Mark your calendars and begin saving for this great reunion.  Check out the Call to Muster – Seattle and the Order of March – Seattle pages under the Reunions Menu.  To Register for the 2024 Seattle Reunion (click here} to register.  Don’t forget to register for your hotel room  Radisson Hotel (click here).

Our website has a new look and lots of new information.  Please enjoy it and explore!  Login then:  Click to add your comments here!

Check back often for new and updated information.  Check out the FEATURED MARINES section to the right on this page.

Be sure to check out all the pictures that have been added to the reunions section.  Thanks to all who have provided pictures.

Check out the new section “My Personal Experiences in Vietnam” These are true stories that this webmaster has written and experienced in the Vietnam War.

Seattle, WA 2024 Reunion

September 18th – 22nd 2024

Our theme this year will be “WE ARE MARINES!”  Our colors will be Red, White, and Blue.  This coming reunion will be a great reunion.  Our format will be a bit different but very exciting with an additional extended day, Wednesday afternoon through Sunday noon.  Mark your calendars now and begin saving your money.  We will be enjoying the scenery, places, and entertainment in Seattle, but also focusing on being Marines and reminiscing our days in Vietnam.

 

The average temperature in Seattle in September for a typical day ranges from a high of 71°F (22°C) to a low of 52°F (11°C). Some would describe it as mildly cool, humid but cool.  You will need a sweater, jacket, and an umbrella to bring to our Seattle Reunion in September 2024.  It rained 9 days out of the month of September in 2023.  The average rain days in Seattle in September is 6 days out of the month.

Start saving your extra cash for an exciting FOUR nights and FIVE days reunion!  It will begin on Wednesday late afternoon through Sunday morning!