Cpl OTIS LAMAR HOLMES STORY
OTIS LAMAR HOLMES STORY
through my eyes-------
Tired was the normal. Young men have no fear. Early afternoon, on the 29th (April 1975) GySgt. Martin was giving my post number when I heard aircraft coming in hard and low, the ground went to shaking. GySgt. Martin looked up, showing no fear he started firing his M-16. I took his lead fired my M-16. GySgt. Martin ordered men to the bunkers. Others also took his lead firing and running to the bunkers. I said, "What a Marine"! As 6 aircraft dropped 500-pound bombs upon us, he didn't move. He got a head count and said, 'thanks to the man upstairs'; everyone was accounted for.
MSgt Vasco D. Martin, USMC Ret
He reposted all the men to new stations. He took me to the post out by the gate going into the airport where all vehicles and people were checked. Families were separated. Almost all men were sent back to fight. I thought, How could a man, only 19 years old make these decisions? People crying every where. This went on until I was relieved after dark. I was relieved for food and sleep. I found very little food; I went upstairs to sleep. Not knowing what was happening, I took my boots off and slept. I slept with all my clothes on. Awakened at 2300 Judge, McMahon and myself were lucky, we had late watch. We talked to each other most of the night each had something on our minds; I talked about my girl friend and my Mom. Judge said his Mom was his girl, or the only one that really loved him. McMahon said he loved all of them at night we all had a good laugh at that.
Cpl Charles McMahon and LCpl Darwin Judge
At about 0300 a jeep came up to Post 1. The two Marines checked the jeep out good then waved the jeep through. The jeep stopped at my post, Post 2. I waved him (a Vietnamese guy) towards the DAO office. About 30 min. passed then rockets came screaming from the night sky. Post 1 was hit, a fireball, my two buddies were blown away, they were gone. I saw this with my own eyes. The second rocket took out Post 2. I was hit
so hard I lost my breath. I was thrown up into the air like a rag doll. I hit the ground so hard my chin
strap broke. I got up shot out the streetlight at Post 1.
When Sgt. Maloney got to Post 2 he asked. "Where are the men at Post 1?"
I said, "They're gone!"
He asks me, "Where?"
I said, " To pieces!"
He then ordered me into the ditch on the left side of the road to look for our men. He took the right ditch, we moved at the same speed toward Post 1. In the left ditch I crawled into a chest cavity. I found other body parts too. I identified them as Cpl. McMahon. I was ordered back to Post 2.
There Cpl. Mayfield asked, " Where were Judge and McMahon?"
I said, "Up at post 1."
Cpl. Mayfield went to Post 1. GySgt. Martin came to Post 2.
He asked, "What happened?"
I reported 2 dead on Post 1. I then bandaged my leg and cleaned my nose off. GySgt. Martin organized the detachment, setting perimeter posts where we stayed the rest of the night.
OTIS LAMAR HOLMES
Colonel Steve Hasty (Staff Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Can Tho Detachment ) presents Cpl Otis Holmes a long pass due Purple Heart. Cpl Otis Holmes was wounded at the same time that Cpl McMahon and LCpl Judge was killed-in-action.
Front Row (L-R): Gary Mellinger, J.D. Sneed, Lamar Holmes, John Ghilain, Doug Potratz, Randy Smith, Terry Bennington, Duane Gevers, Ken Crouse. Second Row = Ted Murray, Kevin Maloney, Steve Moore, Larry Killens, John Kirchner, Bill Newell, Colin Broussard, Mike Sweeny, John Valdez, Steve Stratton, Dean Kinzie, John Moya and Chris Woods.