Peterson, Marlin Trent, PFC

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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1969-1970, 11B10, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry (Airborne)
Service Years
1969 - 1970

Private First Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CW2 Phillip M. Kemp (Mike) to remember Peterson, Marlin Trent, PFC.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Feb 11, 1970
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Thua Thien (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Pine Hill Cemetery - Williams, Minnesota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
14W 128

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
101st Airborne Division 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry (Airborne)
  1969-1970, 11B10, 101st Airborne Division
  1969-1970, 11B10, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry (Airborne)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 06, 2008, Burial Site & Family Information
  Feb 04, 2009, American Legion Memorial1
  Feb 14, 2012, Tribute & H.S. Photo From Admirer1
  Feb 11, 2013, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Started Tour:  11/28/1969

Final Mission of PFC Marlin T. Peterson

Fire Support Base Rifle was located 10 miles south of Phu Bai Airfield in Thua Thien Province, RVN. It was manned by elements of the 101st Airborne Division along with the 4th Battalion, 54th ARVN Infantry Regiment. During the early morning hours of February 11, 1970, FSB Rifle was overrun by units of the North Vietnamese Army. The NVA were supported with mortars, RPG teams, and multiple sapper squads. When the attack started, the NVA fired 60mm mortar rounds into the base interior, dropping 50–60 rounds inside the perimeter. Next, they fired RPG-2 rockets at the defenders’ bunkers. As the rockets came in, at least two squads of sappers breached the perimeter, some of whom immediately headed for the tactical operations center (TOC). In a well-planned advance operation, the sappers began throwing satchel charges, and NVA ground troops opened up with AK-47 fire. A pitched battle took place inside the perimeter of the fire base as the two sides fired at each other in extremely close quarters; much of the fighting was hand-to-hand combat. By 0145 hours, gunships from the 101st arrived and began firing 2.75-inch rockets at enemy positions. At 0300 hours, the NVA broke off the attack and disappeared back into the heavily forested hills, leaving their dead behind. The devastation and carnage to the base was considerable. Most bunker lines along the perimeter, as well as the TOC, were blown to pieces. Bodies were everywhere: inside the compound, in the wire and outside of the perimeter, both American and NVA soldiers. Many of the NVA had been blown to pieces; some were also burned to cinder. Most dead Americans lay where they fell. The U.S. reaction force that arrived feared they might have been booby-trapped during the firefight, and all had unexploded ordnance still attached to their web gear. During the following day, firefights with the NVA continued as American patrols entered the woods in pursuit of the enemy. It took 14 hours to clear the American and NVA bodies and destroy most of the dud and unexploded ordnance. Over 200 satchel charges loaded with Russian TNT were disarmed and 15 unfired RPG-2 rockets and one dud RPG-7 rocket were collected by American ordinance disposal personnel. Eleven Americans were killed in the battle at FSB Rifle. They included SP4 John J. Burns Jr., PFC Morgan L. Cahoon, SGT Robert R. Davis, PFC Timothy C. Farrell, SSGT Ronald L. Haug, SGT Kenneth L. Keller, SP4 Paul H. Knecht, SP4 Vincent M. La Rocca, SP4 Raymond R. Moon, PFC Marlin T. Peterson, and PFC Harold W. Shuler. [Taken from and “Fire Support Base Rifle: The Day It Was Raining Dead” by Stuart Steinberg, Soldier of Fortune magazine, August 2015]
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Body Recovered

  Never Forgotten

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."

Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.

We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you , one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam :

Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-laden bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

From your 2/502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne STRIKE FORCE Nam-Band-Of-Brothers Posted by: Bill Nelson 2/502 Infantry 101st Airborne
Relationship: Nam Vet 7/69-9/70
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
 FSB Rifle I was There!
I was with Marlin when he died. I hope this message gets to his family. He died quickly and bravely. I have been wanting to tell someone this for years. I had received a letter from his sister and I guess I just wanted her to think I died with him. I am sorry I have not said anything before.
Posted by: Lloyd Hume
Relationship: We served together
Sunday, September 23, 2001
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