Julian Marin

Corcoran, California

April 28, 1967

Born on New Years Day in 1947, Julian Marin went into the US Army and landed onto Vietnam soil on April 6, 1967 at the age of 20. He would be another in a long list of brave soldiers that would not make it through their first month overseas.

He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry and was part of C Company as an infantryman. The Unit was located in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, a known hotbed of large enemy forces in early ’67. PFC Marin waspreparing for his first major battle.

On April 23rd, the 25th Infantry Division launched Operation Manhattan. This was a multi-Brigade search and destroy operation to destroy Viet Cong forces in the Ben Cui area and to seek out all enemy fortifications in the Boi Loi Woods. Intelligence reportsindicated that the area of operation contained numerous important enemy base camps that were being used for key logistical and command purposes. At least two know Battalion size VC units were known to be operating there.

The Boi Loi Woods was actually an old French rubber plantation. It can be characterized as having heavy secondary forest and very dense undergrowth. There were some areas of wetland rice paddies and a large area of non-producing rubber trees. This terrain prohibited the general capability of air support while soldiers were on their missions.

On the first few days of the Operation activation, mechanized Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) moved into the area to secure Landing Zones (LZ’s) and forward base camps. By April 27th, the infantry troops from multiple Brigades had moved into the areato start their search and destroy missions.

On April 28th, C Company of 2⁄14 started their first sweep. They immediately received small arms fire, automatic weapons fire, and 82mm mortar rounds. The Company returned the fire and found enemy killed and blood trails that they started following. Latethat night they were under attack again. This time, a support APC took a direct hit and was destroyed. As the battle continued, the VC kept firing with rocket propelled grenade launchers (RPG) into the US element. After intense fighting, close air support was called in, and the Viet Cong broke contact and withdrew.

Regrouping, C Company started the uneasy task of identifying their dead and wounded. Five soldiers were evacuated out to field hospitals…..but PFC Marin was dead from the hail of mortar and rocket attacks. He was their only loss that day, but C Company would continue to lose man after man as the Operation pushed forward through early June.

Like many soldiers at the time over there, Julian was so new that few got to know him. To almost all of them, this was their first sight of carnage that would live with them for decades to come. PFC Marin had fought bravely for other’s lives.

Julian Marin’s name is on the Vietnam Wall at Panel 18E, line 109.

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