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Camp Kistler


Camp Kistler- The words of a Marine sergeant, killed in action near the Cua Viet waterway, were read to his comrades as the 1st Amphibian Tractor Bn. camp was dedicated in his honor.

Sgt James L. Kistler was the first man in the battalion to give his life in (Cua Viet) Vietnam. During the dedication ceremony, his battalion commander read from one of the late sergeant's letters, which had been printed in his hometown paper at Logansport, Ind.

"Now I'm no hero, nor a philosopher, nor a historian," Sgt Kistler had written, "but I think I'd rather die tomorrow than know that my friends and relatives . . . or their children . . . would have to live someday under the Communists. And it could . . . and it will happen . . . if we let them have their way in Asia."

Lt.Col E. R. Toner, 1st AmTrac Bn. commander, praised the sergeant as a dedicated man and Marine. "He knew why he was in Vietnam," said LtCol Toner, "and he died for his beliefs."

Sgt Kistler's name headed an honor roll of 25 Marines who were killed while serving with the battalion.

At the close of the ceremonies, MajGen R. Tompkins, Third Marine Division Commander, placed a sign bearing the new camp name on a concrete torii near the camp headquarters. Beneath the torii is a marble monument to Kistler.

Camp Kistler is located at the mouth of the Cua Viet River, bordering the Gulf Of Tonkin.

SSgt Dan Wisniewski
ISO, 3dMarDiv

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