Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wayne Ellsworth Marchand, 6th cousin

Born October 3, 1932 in Nemaha County, Nebraska.

Died Apr 8, 1962 in Viet Nam.

Buried in Lafayette Cemetery, Brock, Nemaha County, Nebraska.

Son of Jesse James Marchand and Ada Elizabeth Jones.


We Are Being Overrun

Scene of the struggle was a jungle clearing outside An Chau, a village 360 miles north of Saigon. There, U.S. Sergeants James Gabriel of Honolulu and Wayne E. Marchand of Plattsmouth, Neb., were drilling 31 local Vietnamese volunteers in a two-week field exercise in guard techniques and patrolling. Along to watch the exercises were two new American arrivals in South Viet Nam, Sergeants Francis Quinn of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and George E. Groom of St. Joseph, Mo. All went well until the third night of the exercise.

Suddenly, at 10 p.m., there was rustling in the saw grass across a nearby river. Concerned, Sergeant Gabriel fired warning shots, sent up flares in the direction of the noise. For a long time there was silence. Then came what sounded like a dog's bark. From a different direction, a cock crowed. At last came the tap of a bamboo tocsin, and the Viet Cong came running out of the dark.

This first attack was quickly repulsed, but shortly after daybreak the guerrillas came back in earnest. Five Viet Cong guerrillas rushed the command post, were shot down, only to be followed by five more from another direction. "I saw Sergeant Gabriel phoning and shooting and changing clips all at the same time," said a Vietnamese afterwards. "Three times he was wounded and knocked down. The third time he didn't get up." Before he fell, Gabriel radioed a final message to the U.S. base at Danang seven miles away: "Under heavy attack from all sides. Completely encircled by enemy. Ammunition expended. We are being overrun."

When 20 Americans rushed down from Danang in helicopters, they found the bodies of Gabriel and Marchand. Each had been shot in the head as the Viet Cong fled. The other two Americans had been kidnaped and marched off toward the Laos frontier 40 miles away.'

The book "Pacific Stars and Stripes, VIETNAM Front Pages" published in 1986
states:

Five Star Edition
Wednesday, April 11, 1962
Vol. 18, No. 100

How U.S. Soldiers Died
Too wounded to Walk, 2 Are Slain by Guerillas
Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam (AP) -- Communist guerillas killed two captured
U.S. Army sergeants because they were too badly wounded to walk any farther,
the survivors of a jungle ambush reported Wednesday. The American's arms had
been bound behind them.

Vietnamese patrols and air forces were still searching the jungle area 45
miles east of the Laos frontier for two other American army sergeants who
were captured in the attack on a bivouac Sunday.

The U.S. Army identified the slain soldiers as Staff Sgt. Wayne E. Marchand
pf Plattsmouth, Neb., and SP5 James Gabriel of Honolulu.


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