PFC ROYCE G. SCOGGINS
US MARINE CORPS
Royce Glenn Scoggins, of McKinney, was born 2 October, 1947, and joined the Marines in 1965 at the age of seventeen. After being trained as a machine gunner, he arrived in Vietnam on 27 January, 1966, aboard the he USS Paul Revere, along with a fleet of US Navy ships, off the coast of Quang Ngai Province, in north central South Vietnam. Royce was a member of Weapons Platoon, India Co., 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. On Saturday 5 March, 1966, Royce's unit was part of Operation Utah, that for the first time in the war pitted US Marines up against soldiers of the Army of North Vietnam. On that afternoon, PFC Scoggins was killed in action as he operated his M60 machine gun in a heated battle. In that three-day battle, 97 Marines were killed, 278 wounded, with over 600 enemy killed. Royce is buried in Tioga, Texas, and his name is listed on the WALL, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, in Washington, DC, at Panel 5E, Row 124.
COMBAT ACTION RIBBON
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON
GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
NATIONAL DEFENSE RIBBON
MILITARY MERIT MEDAL
GALLANTRY CROSS with PALM
VIETNAM GALLANTRY UNIT CITATION
VIETNAM CIVIL ACTIONS UNIT CITATION
(click on picture for large view)
Royce - Row 5
Machine gun training in
Royce on the ground.
1st Marine Regiment,
1st Marine Division
India Company's arrival in Vietnam, WWII style.
(Stars and Stripes provided by Tom Peters)
|On the 5, 6, & 7 of June, 2008, the members of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, who served together in Vietnam, met in San Diego, California, for a reunion. A special memorial ceremony was held in honor of those Marines who were killed in Vietnam, and for those who have since passed away. I (RD Foster) was honored to have been invited and to render a salute in honor of Royce.|
|Members of India Company, 2008 at MCRD||India Company was special guest ...||... at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) ...||... where many had attended boot camp over 40 years earlier.||India Co. 2008|
|Banquet ...||... program.||A flag for each Marine who didn't come home.||Tom Peters and his brothers.||Royce|
|The names of the fallen||were read||with a ceremonial salute||for each.|
|Tom & Mary Peters - Zena & James Mosely||Tom Peters, RD Foster, Mike Hastriter||PFC Royce Scoggins
KIA 5 March, 1966
The night before they got the ‘word,’
If you would like to leave a memorial message in the memory of Royce Scoggins, Go Here.
PFC Royce Scoggins, you have the greatest brother you could have in Ronnie Foster. Thanks to him you will never be forgotten along with the rest of your other Band of Brothers. How proud Texas must be and how proud the residents of Collin County must be of you and the 21 American Heroes! God Bless You All!
meeting you in San Diego also, along with all the other men/wives from
3/1. I have been reading your books, and also caught the blip about the
M16. (Note from RD Foster- In the book I mistakenly said they were
armed with M16s, when in fact they carried M14s) For a very brief
time, some of our Marines did have AR-15's, but they tended to jam and
lock up with the slightest exposure to dirt/mud in the rice paddies.
The experiment didn't last long, and they were soon replaced with the
trusty (but HEAVY!) M14. I actually carried an AK47 for a few days
after Operation Utah, and was surprised how light it was, even with the
huge banana clip it came with. I was reading through the "One Day As A
Lion" book last nite on my back porch. Thanks for the insight about who
we were fighting on Hill 50 that weekend. I knew they were "hardcore"
regulars, since I saw the uniforms and helmets. I never heard about the
strength of the units, numbers, etc, so it was interesting to get some
more info after all the years. That Saturday afternoon, in all the
running around to all the wounded, I was exposed to a lot of AK47's.
The noise at times was deafening, and when the gunfire slowed at times,
all I could hear was the guys calling for help, and the team leaders
yelling and trying to coordinate the fire teams. Sometime in the
course of the afternoon, my E-tool stopped a couple of rounds from an
AK. I didn't realize it until I opened my pack that evening to get out
my C-Rats. I had beefsteak and potatoes all over the inside of my pack.
The rounds had gone through the E-tool and broken up in my C-Rats. Mike
has a couple of pictures of the E-tool----I didn't want to bring it to
San Diego and risk losing it through the airlines. Anyway, your account
of March 5th, 1966 brought back many memories----most of them
not very pleasant.
To read about Royce Scoggins, India
Company 3/1 and Operation Utah in Vietnam in 1966, their story is included in
ONE DAY AS A LION by Ronnie D. Foster, go here.
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