Team Rush Act

43 years ago today, 15 Marines were killed during a rescue attempt in the Que Son mountains of Vietnam. These Marines will never be forgotten by their buddies who served with them. Many of us will raise a toast to them at 1800 on 18 November as we do every year. Here is their story:

Reconnaissance Company, Headquarters Battalion (Reinf.), First Marine Division (Reinf.) Fleet Marine Force Pacific
Issue #25 1 December 2010
1st Reconnaissance Battalion Operation Order
#1187-70 of 12 November, 1970 ordered the insertion of
1st Recon Team “Rush Act” from the Battalion’s Bravo
Company into a haven in the Que Son Mountains, some
22 miles or so south of their base at Da Nang. The patrol
was ordered to Conduct reconnaissance and surveillance
operations within an assigned haven to detect possible
VC/NVC troop movements or arms infiltration and
to be prepared to call and adjust Air and/or Artillery on
all targets of opportunity. [See the complete order on page
Team Rush Act, consisting of: Cpl John Frank Stockman,
the Patrol Leader; HM2 Russell Glen “Doc” Daniels,
the team’s Navy Medical Corpsman; LCpl David Vincent
Delozier; Cpl Randall Paul Manela; LCpl Charles Alfred
Pope Jr.; LCpl Robert Eugene Tucker and Cpl Fernando
Villasana was inserted by HMM-263 on 10 November,
While executing their mission at least two of the
Team members became debilitated by the notorious Vietnam
FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin) and were being
doctored by HM2 Daniels. As fate would have it, Doc
Daniels suffered a broken leg as he slipped on a wet
mountain slope during one of the Teams movements.
The Patrol’s orders called for an extraction on 19
November but Doc Daniel’s condition became a major
concern of the Team and they requested an early extraction..
The urgency of their request prompted two attempts
to extract. Both attempts were cancelled due to
heavy rain and fog in the Team’s haven area.
Rain and fog notwithstanding the Thunder Chickens
of HMM-263 were determined to extract their brothers
and mounted a third extraction attempt on 18 November.
The short account which follows is a narrative from
HMM-263 regarding the third extraction mission:

Three days overdue for extraction from their monsoon-soaked haven in the
Que Son, 1st Recon Battalion Team “Rush Act” had monitored two aborted
previous attempts to lift them out. They had sick and injured Marines and
they were out of food and water.
The “Thunder Chickens” of HMM-263, would try,
once again, to penetrate the fog.
Editor’s Note: Reflections is grateful to Charlie Kershaw
and Dave Snider, President and Historian respectively, of the
1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association, for suggesting the
theme of this issue and for providing valuable resources. We
all do well when we reflect, even with remorse, upon the
legacy which the brave men of Team Rush Act, the 1st Reconnaissance
Battalion, the pilots, crewmen and gunners of
Medium Helicopter Squadron HMM-263 and MAG-16 have
left us. We consider it an honor to aid in the preservation of
that legacy. God Bless The United States Marine Corps.

Danger gleams like sunshine to a brave man's eyes— Euripides
A recon team from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion call
sign, "Rush Act" was 3 day overdue from extraction and
was out of food and water with several Marines injured. They
were located on a high peak in the Que Son mountains (AT
967407) on a difficult slope. Many attempts were made to
extract them in the days prior to November 18th but were
thwarted by monsoon rains and clouds. On November 18th
Major Ted Tobin set out from the recon helo pad with Lt Curt
Rogers flying his wing. Tobin's aircraft carried the CO of the
1st Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, Lt Col William
G. Leftwich, his operations officer and several other
extract certified Marines. While flying to the location of
Team Rush Act, Tobin's CH-46 experienced RPM surges that
required it to land at LZ Baldy, several clicks south of their
intended mission. At LZ Baldy it was determined that the
"SPIE" rig would be transferred to Lt Curt Rogers CH-46
(Bureau# 154837). Once the transfer was complete the section
departed for the pickup. LT Rogers flew over the team in
bad weather but was able to spot them and began the extraction.
During the extraction the weather deteriorated quickly
resulting in extremely poor visibility. Lt Rogers reported he
had the team and was departing the area. He was not heard
from again. During the retrograde operation the following day
it was clear that the CH-46 carrying Team Rush Act and all
their command staff made a turn in IFR conditions and flew
into the side of the mountain killing all 15 Marines.
Recon Reflections Issue #25 - 1 December 2011- Page 2

Daniels, Russell Glen HM2 Corpsman1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Delozier, David Vincent LCpl 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Hudson, Gary Duane LCpl Passenger 1stMarDiv
Pope Jr., Charles Alfred LCpl 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Stockman, John Frank Cpl 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Tucker, Robert Eugene LCpl 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Villasana, Fernando Cpl 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Leftwich Jr., William Groom LtCol CO/1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Harvey, Cleveland Ray 1stLt 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Manela, Randall Paul Cpl 1stReconBn 1stMarDiv
Bajin, Enver Cpl Gunner H&MS-16 MAG-16
Buttry, Richard Russell LCpl Gunner H&MS-16 MAG-16
Donnell II, Robert A Sgt Crew Chief HMM-263 MAG-16
Rogers Jr., Orville Curtis 1stLt Pilot HMM-263 MAG-16
Stolz Jr., James Edward 1stLt Co-Pilot HMM-263 MAG-16
Calvin Eden
J.J. Evers

My Thanks to Hubert "HU" Campbell, 1st Recon Battalion for permission to use his narrative.