I trained with a guy named Denzil Allen (Boot Camp, San Diego, December 1964 to March 1965). I think he was from Indiana. I also served two tours in Vietnam, '65 -'66 and '68 - '69. I also went back to Vietnam from Hawaii with Battalion Landing Team 1/27 (1st Battalion, 27th Marines). Allen was with one of the line companies. At the height of Tet '68, Allen was a corporal in charge of a platoon patrol base (PPB) guarding an approach to Hue City. The NVA attacked in force late one night, threatening to to overrun the position. Allen told his team to hunker down then called artillery in on the position, successfully driving the NVA away. He was recommended for the Navy Cross.
The next morning, while patrolling the area, Allen and his crew caught a couple Vietnamese changing clothes. No identification, but vaccination marks (an almost sure indication they were NVA). Everyone was still pretty "Hyper" from the night before so they took the two back to the PPB. One thing led to another and finally they tortured the two to death. A replacement later dropped a dime, there was an investigation and Allen was court-martialed and sentenced to Portsmouth for life.
There was a big write-up about it in LOOK Magazine in late 1969 or early 1970. I don't know whether he was ever awarded the Navy Cross. Probably not, but he certainly deserved it. The sentence would almost surely have been reduced; especially after the media let it go and everything died down.
Tet '68 was a bad time for a number of us. We had a guy named Lindsay from Lawndale, California. He sent his wife back to California from Hawaii. She had a little girl not long afterward and he applied for leave to see the baby. All leave was cancelled and we were told we were going on a training cruise. Some training cruise. Lindsay was killed in May. Never saw his daughter - I don't think he even had a picture. I had the last photos ever taken of him and tried to locate the daughter to give her prints but could never make contact. My second wife, in one of her temper fits, destroyed my scrapbook (which I had saved more than 30 years).
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