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[Image 1: Department
of Defense (Air Force) 111051. Knife 22 sits in a field on
the eastern coast of Thailand as a Marine prepares to disable
it permanently. Company G Commander Capt James H. Davis, who
had been riding in this helicopter, returned to Koh Tang in
the second assault wave and remained on the island until Knife
51 extracted the last 29 Marines.]

[Image 2: Department of Defense Photo (Air Force) 111056. The
western zone on Koh Tang is seen from the tail of one of the
Air force helicopters used to insert and recover Marines. During
the confusion of the retrograde three Marines were left on the
island: LCpl Joseph N. Hargrove, PFC Gary C. Hall, and Pvt Danny
G. Marshall. In addition, the body of LCpl Ashton N. Looney
was inadvertently left on this beach.]


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ately available to make the pickup."*80 Finally Knife 51 landed and began loading. Having loaded everyone save for themselves, Captain Davis, Gunnery Sergeant McNemar, and a Pararescueman or "PJ" on K 51, Technical Sergeant Wayne Fisk, combed the beach one last time for stragglers.** Finding none, they leaped onto the hovering HH-53 as it lifted off Koh Tang for the final time. It was 2010.81 The much-awaited situation report stated, "Marines hclo-lifted from Koh Tang island as of 1513002 [2000]."82 The Navy's intelligence command in the Pacific reported to Admiral Gayler that "All U.S. personnel have been extracted from the island. Final extraction was by CH/HH-53 helicopter."83
This intelligence report would later prove to be incorrect. The Aftermath


The entire evacuation of the Marines in the western zone lasted less than two hours, all of it logged as night flight time by the pilots. Possibly because of the darkness and despite the efforts of Davis, McNemar, and such Marines as Sergeant Carl C. Andersen, platoon guide, 3d Platoon, Company E, and Lance Corporal John S. Standfast, squad leader, 3d Squad, 3d Platoon, Company E, mistakes still occurred. Standfast and his squad covered Company G's withdrawal during the reduction of the perimeter, and he then sin-glehandedly directed the pullback of his own squad. In the all important job of making sure none of the Marines were left behind in each zone reduction, Standfast received assistance from his platoon guide, Sergeant Andersen. Before withdrawing to the safety of the new perimeter, the two Marines would move forward to the old perimeter to ensure thai no member of the company inadvenemly had been left behind, each time checking every foxhole.84


Hours later, with the assault forces dispersed among three Navy ships, the Company E commander. Captain Mykle K. Stahl, discovered that three of his Marines were missing. The Marines checked all of the Navy ships, but could not locate Lance Corporal Joseph N. Hargrove, Private First Class Gary C. Hall, and Private Danny G. Marshall, members of the same machine gun team. Captain Stahl stated later, "As the evacuation terminated and it was determined that Hargrove, Hall, and Marshall were missing I inspected all the equipment to determine if any of the serialized

 





*Thc variance between 29 and 32 (or 33) is explained in the next section.


**Major Guilmanin shared his knowledge of this "PJ." He related. "TSg( Waync Fisk was a veteran of the Son Tay raid and normally would not have been on a CH-53, but present in Utapao the morning the first helicopters took off, he subsequently talked the aircraft commander. First Lieutenant Richard Brims, into accepting him as a crew member on Knife 51's second flight to Koh Tang." Guilmanin Comments.











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