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Larry Chmiel '66

Date of birth: October 14, 1941

Date of death: June 2, 1967

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1966 Lucky Bag:


From the September-October 1967 issue of SHIPMATE:

2nd Lt. Larry V. Chmiel, USMC, was killed in action near Quang Tri, Vietnam, on 2 June. Requiem Mass was said at the St. Jane Frances Church at Riviera Beach, Md., with interment in the National Cemetery, Baltimore, with military honors.

Lt. Chmiel, who was a native of Baltimore, enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from high school in 1959. He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School before entering the Naval Academy, from where he was graduated in 1966. He attended Basic School at Quantico and was ordered to Vietnam last January; he was injured in action last May. He was serving with Company D, 1st Battalion, Fifth Marine Division.

He is survived by his widow, the former Judy Lee Peoria, a first grade teacher who lives at 801 Marigold Road, Glen Burnie, Md. 21061; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry A. Chmiel of 222 Hilltop Road, Riviera Beach, Md. 21123, fomerly of Baltimore; and his grandmothers, Mrs. Catherine Chmiel of Baltimore and Mrs. Clarence Dew of Martin's Ferry, Ohio.

Larry is buried in Maryland.

From Together We Served:

The 5th Marines conducted Operation UNION II in the Que Son area between 25 May and 05 June 1967. The Marines expected to find the 3rd NVA Regiment, some 2,000 well-trained troops and they did. The Marines conducted search and destroy missions with only sporadic contacts through 01 June. Things changed on 02 June, when Delta 1/5 and Fox 2/5 ran into separate concentrations of NVA troops as they closed on the Vinh Huy Village complex in the Nui Loc Son Basin. Although only a mile or so apart, on opposite sides of the village complex, Delta 1/5 and Fox 2/5 fought separate battles, but both faced well-entrenched and well-disciplined troops. Both battles were bloody in the extreme. As the afternoon progressed, Alpha 1/5 (the 2/5 reserve) was committed to the northwest of the village with instructions to move east to contact with Fox 2/5, but they too were stopped by entrenched NVA. By nightfall, two other companies - Echo 2/5 and Delta 1/7 - had been airlifted in and set up an NDP in preparation for further fighting on 03 June.

The situation at midnight 02/03 June was as follows:
A severely battered Delta 1/5 was in an NDP on the southern side on the village complex. They had lost 18 KIA and 22 WIA. An even more battered Fox 2/5 was in an NDP on the northeast side. Fox 2/5 had lost 32 KIA and 39 WIA. Alpha 1/5 was in an NDP on the northwest side, with 5 KIA and 10 WIA. Echo 2/5 and Delta 1/7 were in an NDP on the south-southeast side of the complex. They lost 4 KIA in a post-midnight attack, but were otherwise unscathed. About 600 NVA troops had been killed in the actions, many by supporting arms, but no small number during in-close fighting. When dawn broke and the Marines began to sweep toward the village center, the NVA were gone, apparently having withdrawn through the gap in the Marine lines to the west of Vinh Huy Village.

From Road of 10,000 Pains by Otto J. Lehrack

… 1st Platoon under Lt. Larry Chmiel was in the lead when the lieutenant, his platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. David Dixon, and their radio operator were all killed immediately…


You remember me Larry V. This is Freddy. We served in the Marines around 1960 at Pendleton and later at 2nd Landing Support Co. Gosh, you had the greatest smile. All teeth. Always Laughing. Annapolis grabbed you and off you went.

I just wanted to touch bases with you and let you know I love you very much and let you know I love you very much. we would have liked to see more of you but duty called.

I will never forget you Larry V.

Your Friend,
Freddy FRED TOMBOR, 5/25/15

My 21 year career in the USMC began when I met you. I will never forget your steadfast devotion to Corps and country. It has had a significant impact on me.that has stood the test of time. I will never forget the sacrifice that you made and make certain that everyone I meet knows who you were and what you stood for. Semper Fi Marine. RALPH NEGRON, 5/31/14

Larry after TBS we arrived in Vietnam and were assigned to the 5th Marines. You went to the 1st Bn. and I went to the 3rd Bn. Our units operated in the same Que Son Valley but your units were right in the middle of the bad guys. Our paths crossed on Operation Union and later on June 2nd when my Company was ready to join the action for Operation Union II we had to stop and unload the KIA's from the arriving helicopter. When my men unloaded the bags and I saw that plastic bag with your name I was very angry, upset and sick to my stomach. I will always remember that day, our last encounter, you will never be forgotten. Page 122 of the book "Road of 10,000 Pains" finally let me see what had happened at your end. Delta Company was always in the thick of it. That Que Son Valley, where we operated, was very treacherous. You were never forgotten, Semper Fi, Marine. J.C. GRACIDA, JCG2002@GMAIL.COM, 8/20/10

Related Articles

William Miller, Jr. '66 and Marvin Wiles '66 were also in 32nd Company.

Class of 1966

Larry is one of 36 members of the Class of 1966 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.