Red Clay Newsletter of the Veterans who served at Khe Sanh Combat Base, Hill 950, Hill 881, Hill 861, Hill 861-A, Hill 558 Khe Sanh Village, Lang-Vei and Surrounding Area


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Remembered By    

1st Sgt Merle Christensen 1972
GySgt. Eugene E Stout KIA 28 Dec 66
Cpl Jim Snow 2004
T/sgt Ed Mosley KIA 15 Oct 1967
A/1C Larry Berneski KIA 15 Oct 1967
Sgt James N. Tycz KIA 10 May 1967

Jerry Griffin B Btry 1/13 HN
Jerry Griffin B Btry 1/13 HN
Jerry Griffin B Btry 1/13 HN
Robert Heppner 309 Air Commando Sqdn
Robert Heppner 309 Air Commando Sqdn
Sharon Pelon Friend

Khe Sanh Veteran
E 2/26 Hill 861A

SMATHERS, LILLIAN WEBSTER - 86, passed away peacefully, with her family beside her, on Friday, April 20, 2007 at Givens Health Care, her caring home for the past five years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Hugh Heron Smathers. Born Lillian Sitman Webster in Knoxville, Tennessee on September 25, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Cora Blanton Davis and Frank Watkins Webster. She attended the University of Tennessee and was a member of Chi Omega Fraternity.

Lillian was a former member of Church Street Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church of Gatlinburg. She was an active member, for many years, of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, the Southern Appalachian High- Lands Conservancy, and the Retired Citizens of Gatlinburg.

Lillian leaves a daughter, Joan Worth of Asheville; a son, Michael Worth and special friend, Lucille Biscaglio of Des Plaines, Ill; granddaughter, Juliellen Sarver of Alexandria Va.; grandson, Jon Sarver and wife, Amanda Mills; and two great grandchildren, Emma and Ellis, all of Asheville. She, also, leaves behind the generous and caring staff at Givens Health Care; Smoky the cat; and AJ the dog.

A celebration of her life was held at Givens Estates on April 23, 2007 with Reverend Joe Fulk officiating. Her ashes will be placed in the Jonathan Webster Family Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. in June.

Memorial donations may be made to Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, 34 Wall Street, Suite 502, Asheville, NC 28801, or to the Animal Companion Fund, Givens Health Care, 600 Barrett Rd., Asheville, NC 28803.

Condolences may be sent to Lillian's family at 149 Wyoming Rd., Asheville, NC 28803. Asheville Area Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services is assisting the family.


Dear Mr. Eichler,

The friends and colleagues of Ray Prittie at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power dedicated a bronze plaque to Ray's memory on Memorial Day, May 28, 2007. We over-collected for the plaque by $196. Ray's family asked that we give the extra money to the Khe Sanh Veterans Association. Therefore, enclosed is a check in the amount of $196 for the Association's general fund.

Please feel free to email me or my colleague John Miller if you would like more information about the ceremony for Ray.

My email address is and John's is

Wayne A. Bamossy
Waterworks Engineer
Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Project
Los Angles Department of Water & Power






The United States Post Office
Honors Major George Quamo


In a special ceremony held at the Sand Lake Elementary School, Averill Park, NY the AVERILL PARK POST OFFICE was Dedicated in the name and loving memory of Major George Quamo KIA 14 April 1968.

There is currently an effort to have him put in for the Medal of Honor for his rescue of the Lang Vei survivors ( See Battalion of Kings, Page 163)


KIA 06 APRIL 1968 HILL 558 G 2/26


My brother, Anthony John Pepper (Tony) served with Golf Company 2/26 and was killed April 6, 1968 at Khe Sanh. I would love to hear from anyone who was there, who might have known him, or was nearby on that day. I am writing a book about him and would love anyone's thoughts. He was never sent home.

We had a memorial service for him at Arlington this past April. Several of the Marines he served with came and paid their respects. It was truly wonderful.

SEMPER FI and God Bless,
Carrie Pepper


In April 1968, Cpl. James M. "Jim" Trimble and PFC Anthony J. "Tony" Pepper were members of Company G, which was conducting a search and destroy operation to interdict enemy activity moving from Laos into the northwestern provinces of South Vietnam. When North Vietnam began to increase its military strength in South Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had done during the war with the French some years before. This border road was used by the Communists to transport weapons, supplies and troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and was frequently no more than a path cut through the jungle covered mountains. US forces used all assets available to them to stop this flow of men and supplies from moving south into the war zone.

On 6 April 1968, Company G engaged a large communist force in heavy combat on a grassy hillside overlooking and in view of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The battle site was located approximately one mile west of Route 608, less than two miles northwest of the combat base, six miles northwest of the city of Khe Sanh, nine miles east of the South Vietnamese/Lao border and 24 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

Cpl. Trimble and PFC Pepper quickly established a fighting position within a bomb crater. During the vicious battle that raged around them, several Marines were killed and wounded, and the bomb crater in which the two Marines were located took a direct hit from a mortar round. After several unsuccessful
attempts were made to recover Jim Tremble and Tony Pepper's remains by surviving members of Company G, their unit was forced to withdraw from the grassy hill under fire.

On 7 April 1968, US forces returned to the battle site. During an extensive search and recovery (SAR) operation, the unit recovered the bodies of nine Americans, but found no sign of Cpl. Trimble of PFC Pepper in or around the area. At the time the formal search was terminated, Jim Tremble and Tony Pepper were declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

On 24 June 1993, a joint American/Vietnamese team under the auspices of the Joint Task Force for Full Accounting (JTFFA) traveled to the area of loss where Company G had been engaged in combat. Team members interviewed local residents, but located no witnesses who had information pertaining to this case. The team also traveled to the battle site to conduct a surface search for the missing Marines, but found no remains or personal effects belonging to either Cpl. Trimble or PFC Pepper.

After completing the surface search, the team determined that Jim Trimble and Tony Pepper died as a result of a direct mortar hit during the battle in which nine others were killed; and that the day after the battle, the area was thoroughly searched and the remains of the other nine men were recovered and subsequently identified. Further, during the original search, no trace of either Marine was found in or around the bomb crater. Based on these facts, the JTFFA team determined, "It is unreasonable to expect that bone splinters could be located 25 years after the incident in a case such as this. The remains of each individual are unrecoverable."

The fate of Jim Trimble and Tony Pepper is not in doubt and there is virtually no chance that their remains are recoverable today. Above all else, these men have the right not to be forgotten by the nation for which they gave their lives.

The 26th Marines Ladies

2/26th Marine Veterans with Carrie Pepper

Memorial Marker


Flag Arrives


Rifle Salute


Folding of Flag


Chaplain and Gunny Give Final Salute


Carrie Pepper with Folded Flag


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