RICHARD S BATES - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- October 31, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- September 17, 1966
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Richard S. Bates was born on October 31, 1946, to Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Bates. His home of record is Nutley, NJ. Richard attended the Lincoln School in Nutley and Nutley High School. Richard worked as an apprentice with Windheim Plumbers.
He served in the US Marine Corps and attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC). He completed his training at Parris Island and received orders to Vietnam.
On September 16, 1966, the aircraft carrier Iwo Jima landed Bates' unit of Marines near Quang Tri, about 20 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam.
On September 17, 1966, the Marines were ambushed by a platoon of Viet Cong regulars less than a mile from the buffer zone and roughly eight miles inland from the coast. The Marines, who survived the first ambush, spent the night almost completely submerged in swampy rice paddies. Helicopters took the dead and the wounded to the Iwo Jima.
The fighting continued throughout the night and the next day. The Marines eventually fought their way to safety. When Saturday's dead were flown back to the Iwo Jima, Bates was aboard one of the helicopters. Bates was killed in action on September 17, 1966.
A military funeral was conducted at the Samuel W. Brown & Son Home and Grace Episcopal Church where Richard attended Sunday school and was confirmed.
Sources: Anthony Buccino (author, Nutley Sons Honor Roll) and NJVVMF.
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