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First Name: Wayne

Last Name: Hayes

Birthplace: Menomonie, WI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Menomonie, WI
Middle Name: Michael

Date of Birth: 10 August 1943

Date of Death: 06 July 1967

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 1965 - 1967
Wayne Michael Hayes

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Wayne Michael Hayes
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve)

Wayne Michael Hayes enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1965. He entered the 38th Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, VA, and was assigned to the 1st Platoon of Delta Company. He graduated on 17 December 1965 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the USMCR. He was then assigned to the 2nd Platoon of Delta Company in Class 3-66 at The Basic School at Quantico and completed that class on 27 May 1966. Because his Military Occupation Specialty was Tank Officer (MOS 1802), Wayne was next sent to Fort Benning, GA, for training as a Basic Tank Officer.

2ndLt Hayes was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam where he was assigned as the platoon commander of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 3rd Tank Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Amphibious Force in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. The tank platoon continued as an attachment to Battalion Landing Team 1/3. Ironically, Wayne assumed command of the tank platoon after his friend and Basic School Classmate, 1stLt Lou Dobbins [Honoree Record ID 243963] was killed on 18 May 1967.

On 2 July 1967, two NVA battalions attacked from the northeast out of the DMZ with the objective of overrunning the Con Thien, which was manned at the time by 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. Bravo Company 1/9, screening Con Thien to the northeast, took the brunt of the onslaught. Once the NVA units were fixed, two additional Marine battalions were heli-lifted in and inserted in the path of the NVA advance. 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, led by one of our Basic School Company Commanders - Major Woodring (Delta Company TBS), and BLT 1/3 took up positions abreast to protect Con Thien. As the bodies of 36 Marines from Bravo Company 1/9 were still on the battlefield, one of the additional missions for the two forward battalions was to continue pushing back the NVA until all of the Bravo Company bodies had been recovered.

Once in place, 3/9 to the west of Route 561 and BLT 1/3 to the east advanced slowly to the north guiding on Route 561. Once BLT 1/3 was committed to the fight, 1stLt Hayes' tanks were debarked from the USS Duluth (LPD-6) through the facilities at Naval Support Activity Dong Ha on 3 July. By 5 July, Wayne’s tank platoon had moved from Dong Ha to Con Thien and was in the field again supporting BLT 1/3. At approximately 05:00 on 6 July, 1stLt Hayes reported to the Commanding Officer of Bravo Company BLT 1/3 with a heavy section (two gun tanks and 1 flame tank). As the morning progressed, a squad from BLT 1/3’s Charlie Company, 2nd platoon, patrolling forward of the frontline, got pinned down, a platoon from Bravo Company, BLT 1/3, led by Wayne’s Basic School Classmate, 1stLt Mike Parker, was dispatched with the three tanks to extract them. By the time they arrived, the small arms fire had ceased, so Wayne was directed to use his tanks to reconnoiter the 400 meters of open ground between the frontline and the tree line to the north. Wayne took his two gun tanks and moved forward about 300 meters. Wayne had the top hatch on his tank open, but he was hunkered down to facilitate providing navigation and targeting instructions to his crews. As Wayne closed to 100 meters from the tree line, shots rang out and he was shot in the left arm, left cheek, left eye and left side of the head. With his tank crew preoccupied dealing with their Lieutenant’s wounds, the NVA moved a 57mm recoilless rifle into position and at 12:10 fired a round at the tank, which disabled its turret. The tank crew pulled Wayne and another wounded crewman out of the turret and laid them on the ground behind their tank.

A corpsman from Bravo Company BLT 1/3 rushed forward to assist the wounded. 1stLt Hayes was alive, but had extensive head wounds so the corpsman performed a battlefield tracheotomy. A medevac helicopter was called in and took Wayne directly to the USS Sanctuary, where he succumbed to his wounds at 16:37 on 6 July. 1stLt Hayes died from wounds received in Quang Tri Province approximately 3 kilometers northeast of Con Thien (YD 140723), while participating in Operation Buffalo.

At the time of his death, Wayne was 23 years old and married.

Medals and Awards

Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal


The name Wayne M Hayes is located on Panel 23E Line 18 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.


First Lieutenant Wayne Michael Hayes is buried at Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Dunnville, WI.

Other KIA's

In addition to 1stLt Hayes, 5 Marines and a Navy Corpsman from BLT 1/3 were killed in action as a result of the NVA ambush on 6 July 1967 and in the follow-on actions to recover the dead and wounded. Those killed were:

● SSgt Gilberto Caballero, San Antonio, TX, H&S 1/3 [Honoree Record ID 237948]
● SSgt John J. Malloy, Great Barrington, MA, Charlie 1/3 [Honoree Record ID 262055]
● Sgt Donald C. Pike, Danville, KY, Charlie 1/3 [Honoree Record ID 270671]
● Sgt Randall K. Russell, Springfield, MO, H&S 1/3 [Honoree Record ID 274804]
● PO3 Thomas L. McCarter, Knoxville, TN, H&S 1/3 [Honoree Record ID 263325]
● PFC Verne M. Greeley, Derry, NH, Bravo 1/3 [Honoree Record ID 250083]

[Thanks to Captain Dave Mellon, USMCR, a classmate of Wayne Hayes in the 38th Officer Candidate Course and in Basic Class 3-66, for the valuable information he provided for this bio. Capt Mellon also served as a platoon commander in Vietnam and was wounded.]

Honoree ID: 252427   Created by: MHOH




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