New Wilmington, PA
U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam
Pvt Richard Joseph Drivere arrived in Vietnam on August 20, 1968. Assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, he entered into a very hot combat zone in Quang Tri Province, just south of the so-called Demilitarized Zone.
When he arrived, the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines were in a serious confrontation with a North Vietnamese regiment around hilly terrain with names like Mutters Ridge, Razorback, and Hill 471.
But maybe it wasn’t so hot; but for sure it was very wet. Mother Nature attacked in early September with a super-typhoon names Agnes. Out over the South China Sea, it had produced winds clocked at 175 miles per hour. By the time it hit the Quang Tri area, those had diminished, but remained strong enough to slam the rain horizontally with such intensity that visibility was near zero. It kept troops on the hilltops from being resupplied for as many as five days.
One Marine wrote home that he and his fellow Marines had run out of C-rations, and were making soup out of water, ketchup, and a little onion. They tried to keep their stomachs warm with hot Kool-Aid.
In spite of that, the battle continued whenever it was possible. The 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines ran into a North Vietnamese regiment north of the Razorback, and the 1st and 2nd Battalions were rushed into position to block the NVA’s escape routes.
The 2nd Battalion came upon a regimental supply area and captured 10,000 mortar rounds, 13,000 hand grenades, and hundreds of rockets.
Some time in all this action, Pvt Drivere was killed by enemy small arms fire.
The 1965 grad of Wilmington Area High School was the son of Joseph and Helen Drivere. He had a sister, Margaret, and a brother, David.
On the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Panel W44 Line 16