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|The Final Duty Station This forum is presented by Retired GySgt Bill Conroy. It is a listing of those that have received orders for their final duty station. These Marines have given their all. We now give our honor.|
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Col David E. Lownds USMC (ret), 90, Naples, FL (Navy Cross Recipient)
Col. David E. Lownds Naples, FL
David E. Lownds, of Naples, FL, born October 4, 1920, passed away peace fully on August 31, 2011. As all good Marines do, the "Lion of Khe Sanh", Colonel David E. Lownds, USMC (Ret) reported for duty on "heaven's scene." A veteran of three wars, Dave Lownds was wounded on Saipan and again on Iwo Jima; braved the enemy and elements in Korea; operated behind enemy lines in the Dominican Republic Expedition; and commanded the Twenty-Sixth Marine Regiment at the Battle of Khe Sanh during the infamous Tet Offensive of 1968 in Vietnam. For his actions at Khe Sanh, he was awarded the Navy Cross, our nation's second highest award for valor.
Married to his wife, Jean, for 69 years, he is survived by her; seven children; 19 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105 or online at www.avowhospice.org.
Please sign guestbook
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David E. Lownds (0-15530), Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the Khe Sanh Combat Base in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from August 1967 through March 1968. Upon assuming command of the vital combat base located in western Quang Tri Province and tasked with the responsibility of interdicting major North Vietnamese re-supply routes and blocking any enemy invasion attempt from the west into the northern provinces of South Vietnam, Colonel Lownds immediately established combat outposts on Hills 881 South, 861, and 950, and launched extensive and highly effective patrol activities throughout his area of responsibility. Despite the hazardous, mountainous terrain, thick jungle foliage, and adverse weather conditions, Colonel Lownds' valiant combat leadership and indomitable command ability were the central instrument in achieving and maintaining the superb combat posture of the base. On 28 January 1968, when North Vietnamese divisions launched a coordinated attack on the Khe Sanh Combat Base with rockets, artillery, mortar, and machine-gun and small-arms fire, and with their main attack directed at Hill 861-A, Colonel Lownds' superb knowledge of and appreciation for the terrain and his aggressive utilization of all supporting arms minimized the effectiveness of the enemy attack and resulted in a large number of enemy casualties. During daily enemy rocket and artillery attacks, and on 23 February when the firing reached its peak with more than 1300 rounds impacting on the combat base, his superior tactical judgment, calm leadership, brave demeanor, and resolute endurance were an inspiration to all around him and were a prime factor in maintaining a high level of morale among his men. Giving no thought to his own safety, while exhibiting a compassionate concern for the welfare of his Marines, he gallantly and repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire making daily visits to outlying units to observe tactical operations and to study conditions confronting his unit commanders. During the period 1 November 1967 to 31 March 1968, Colonel Lownds organized and directed Operation SCOTLAND, a highly effective search and destroy operation throughout the Khe Sanh tactical area of responsibility, which resulted in numerous enemy casualties, the capture of several enemy, and a large number of weapons confiscated. By his gallant leadership, distinguished personal bravery, and selfless devotion to duty throughout, Colonel Lownds upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Westerly, Rhode Island
Webmaster MarineChat.com, Obituary NCOIC
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