Hotel Company was one of four combat companies attached to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines Division, 1st Marine Division, III MAF while serving in Vietnam. Others included Echo Company, Foxtrot Company, Golf Company, H&S Company, and Weapons Company.
In late 1965, Hotel would be formed and led by 1st Lieutenant Jerome (Jerry) Doherty. He led Hotel Company from Long Beach. CA on January 19, 1966, trained his men for three months of Jungle Warfare School training in Okinawa, and then led his company to Chu Lai, Vietnam, arriving on April 13, 1966. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, Hotel Company was assigned to Hill 76 on 14 April 1966, patrolling the extreme western portion of the TAOR.
During their years in Vietnam, 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”.
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 Corpsmen of Hotel Company would distinguish themselves mightily during this fight.
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 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.
Hotel Company 2/5 existed until after the Vietnam War when it was decommissioned. Hotel Company 2/5 no longer exists.