Donald Warren Bollman
Donald Warren Bollman was born on Christmas Eve, 1944. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1965, going through boot camp at MCRD San Diego.
He was sent to Vietnam. He was in the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, India Company (3/3). He was stationed at Camp Carroll in Quang Tri province. He had achieved the rank of corporal.
On the 28th of February, 1967, Bollman was engaged in a firefight on Hill 124, 5 kilometers northwest of Cam Lo (UTM grid reference YD105633) that claimed his life.
The following account was contributed by then Corporal Bellis, 1st Platoon, Hotel Company Radioman to the TogetherWeServed site:
February 28, 1967 A recon patrol operating a little north of Camp Carroll, ran into a large contingent of NVA. Because of the movement of 2/3’s Echo and part of Fox companies to DaNang and Hotel’s movement to Ba Long, only a miscellaneous assortment of units was available for Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian to assist the recon patrol. A reduced 2/3 battalion command group, Golf Company, two reduced strength platoons from Fox Company, India 3/3 and two tanks were all that was available. At the recon patrol’s site, the rescue group was ambushed. At 1035 a vicious mortar and infantry attack stunned Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian’s Golf Company. It came under fire from well concealed positions on both flanks. The fighting was heavy, causalities mounted on both sides. The company commander of Golf was killed. Golf Company was not able to recover its dead until late in the afternoon. When the firefight ended the Marines had suffered 8 KIA and 18 WIA. At 1430 Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian tried to move his command to a more defensible position. Major Sheridan wrote later,”We knew full well we were walking into a hornets nest. Based on the number of enemy forces we had already encountered and the vast amounts of equipment, new weapons, and ammunition, we knew we were out-manned and out-gunned” The Marines came under automatic weapons and mortar fire. The enemy mortar fire was perfectly targeted on the Marines. The Marines could not establish fire superiority and at 1510 Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian ordered a withdrawal. All the radiomen had been hit and causalities continued to mount. Moving the dead and wounded out of the killing zone required feats of bravery beyond comprehension. The NVA were everywhere. Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian was carrying the last of the wounded Marines towards the perimeter when an explosion mortally wounded him. The enemy continued to alternately shell and attempt to overrun the position the remainder of the night. Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian died around midnight as it was impossible to establish a landing zone. The helicopters were unable to land, because of heavy ground fire. Sergeant Major Hayes died about the same time of wounds suffered in hand-to-hand combat, grenade and mortar blasts. Constant artillery, night air strikes within 50 yards of the Marines position and the courage of the Marines on the ground finally took its toll and the NVA withdrew. Among the 28 KIA resulting from the ambush were Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian and Sergeant Major Hayes and the CO of Golf Company and one of his radiomen, both of whom Desmond had met two days earlier at Ba Long. Approximately 60 Marines were WIA. Hotel Radioman took the radio message later on in the day notifying Hotel of Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian’s and Sergeant Major Hayes’ deaths. As he passed the transmission on to Hotel Company the grief was palpable. The bitterly fought battle at the end of February 1967, which took place about 3 miles northwest of Cam Lo, cost the lives of 28 Marines and Corpsman.
Donald Bollman is honored on Panel 15E, Row 125 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.