Comm Company, Hq. Bn., 1st Marine Division

Comm Co in Vietnam

This site, Antenna Hill, is dedicated to the Comm. Men that lost their lives in Vietnam.   This site was inspired by those men who lost their lives on Hill 200 during the Tet Offensive in 1968.  Commonly referred to as Antenna Hill, this site was a primary target for the Viet Cong sappers and several attempts where made to destroy the outpost from 1966 on.  The site was set up by the 3rd Marine Division, Comm. Co and then handed over the First Marine Division, Comm. Co in October of 1966.  This was an important tactical location because it was a major communications nexus for the Marines in the Da Nang Area.  Antenna Hill was on the perimeter and guarded by Comm. Co personnel when they were not in the field, cleaning their weapons, maintaining comm. equipment and radio vehicles, or standing radio watch..  


In Vietnam, Comm. Co provided services at the division level with several platoons in Vietnam . Our service meant going to all parts of the theater of operations. The Comm. Co platoons at that time were A/NGF (Air/Naval Gun Fire), Radio, Radio Relay, Wire, Crypto and Radio Repair Platoons. In addition to providing division level communication, we also worked with Air Observers, Spot Teams, Swift Boats, and Naval Gunfire. We laid landlines to the various commands and provided communications for Fire Support Control between Land, Artillery and Air Support.

When a unit needed a Field Radio Operator (MOS 2531/2533) or Field Wire Man (MOS 2511) Comm. Co was called often on to provide support.  Basically what this meant was one day you could be on Radio Watch at Division HQ and the next out the field calling in fire support. 

It was common knowledge that the order of battle  in a fire fight was:

  • The Officer, to remove command and control.

  • The Radio Operator, to remove air or gun support.

  • The Machine Gunner, to reduce fire power.

No one held it against an officer when he removed his rank emblem.  That was just plain common sense. 
We didn't walk point, but the radio operator often became the primary target in a fire fight. 

Comm. Co, HQ BN., 1st Mar Div, FMF (Communications Company, Headquarter Battalion, First Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force), was based at Camp Hague near Kadena AFB in Okinawa in 1965 prior to the Vietnam War.  Comm Co left Naha, Okinawa on February 17, 1966 via the USS Washol LST 1165 and the USS Merrick AKA 97.  Many members were transferred to other elements of the 1st Marine Division to provide communications support while operations were established in the Chu Lai Area.  As a personal note, I was attached to the 11th Marines during the landing at Chu Lai.  I was not aware of this fact until I obtained personal records in 1999.   Comm Co arrived in Chu Lai, Vietnam on February 25, 1966.  Basically we went where we were needed.  After several successful operations in the Chu Lai.  The 1st Marine Division moved to Da Nang, Vietnam in October of 1966.