Patrol Report

Panama Hat 

May 25th-May 28th, 1968 #344-68

Patrol Report #150-68

LCpl Joseph Arnold Hill

LCpl Joseph Arnold Hill

The Jim Southall Story, Over 100 Patrol Reports.

Click the link at the bottom of this page for the next patrol report.

0n 26 May 1968, Sergeant Jones led Patrol Team "Panama Hat" on a patrol in Quang Nam Province. The team, consisting of eight men, was inserted by CH-46 at YC988437 on the morning of the 26th; their mission was to conduct roving observation and surveillance. The post-patrol report contains the following description of what happened:

"281215H [12:15 PM, 28 May] YC988430: The team was moving west on a ridgeline when they received approx 30 grenades and heavy small arms fire from an unknown number of VC on the top of a cliff above them. The initial action resulted in 1 USMC KIA, 3 USMC WIA, 3 USMC MIA, and 1 USN MIA. The 4 MIA had either jumped or been blown over a cliff, and their casualty status was initially unknown. At 281730H the 3 USMC WIA whose posit was known were extracted. This included the patrol leader. The KIA was not extracted due to inaccessibility and the tactical situation. On the following day, 291425H, the 4 MIA were located by the patrol leader and 1 other USMC enlisted, who were lowered into the area by hoist. The 4 MIA were discovered to be WIA med-evacs. The 2 man team then attempted to recover the body of the USMC KIA, but the mission was aborted when the CH-46B received heavy automatic weapons fire.

A 20 man reaction force inserted on 30 May

was unable to locate the USMC KIA, even though led by the patrol leader. Final results of this action were 1 USMC KIA, 5 USMC WIA, and 1 USN WIA."

One should note that Sergeant Jones, although wounded, went in the next day accompanied by a single Marine, located and medevaced the four missing men, and then tried to recover the body of his teammate LCpl Joseph Arnold Hill. When that effort failed, he went in again with the reaction force on the 30th. Sadly, LCpl Hill's body could not be found ... but it certainly wasn't due to any lack of effort on Sergeant Jones's part!

Sergeant JJ Jones