Jerry Lewien Remembers (conclusion)
Shortly after they departed I was told to catch up with them and to radio back the details of what was found. I started down the trail and as I rounded the bend, I heard gun fire.
I pulled my .45 [pistol] just as the other corporal came running down the trail right into the barrel of my .45.
He said, “They got Knisely.”
I radioed the lieutenant and returned to the CP. The lieutenant asked for volunteers to get Corporal Knisely.
He told them to drop their packs and said to me, “Let’s go Lewien.”
We could see the brush moving from the gun shots.
The point man had been shot head to foot and the second man was shot through the neck.
The lieutenant started dropping his grenades and then mine through the opening of the spider hole/bunker until the firing stopped.
Cpl Robert Knisely, Jr. as a boy. Photo courtesy of the Virtual Wall.
After the bodies and wounded were recovered we pulled back. When we got back upon the trail, movement was seen and we engaged the target with rifle fire and M79 [grenade launcher]. Artillery and air support were called in, and when it was all over, the hill was bare.
We moved across the hill and found a piece of Corporal Knisley’s wallet contents. He only had about two weeks left in country.
In good company: the Vietnam Wall engraving of Cpl Victor Perez, Jr. The names of fellow BLT 2/26 Marines Montie Henderson (81s) and Robert Knisely (Golf Co) appear near his. All died on October 1, 1968. Photo courtesy of Fold3.com and the Vietnam Wall.
The two Marines that were shot and died a couple days later from their wounds were Corporal Victor Perez, Jr. and Corporal Denver Moore, Jr.
Lance Corporal Jerry Lewien
Golf Company, BLT 2/26
Cpl Denver Moore, Jr. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Editor's note: Jerry Lewien served with Golf Company from December 1967 to January 1969, coming out of the field just before Christmas 1968. After spending 1968 in 2/26 he says with relief, "No Purple Heart by the grace of God!"