22 May 1968 Ambush, 50th Anniversary


On May 22, 1968, Bravo and Alpha Companies and other elements of the 1st Battalion 4th Marines engaged a North Vietnamese force east of Con Thien, South Vietnam in a battle in which 17 members of the 1st Battalion were killed in action, or later died of wounds sustained in that battle. The David Westphall Veterans Foundation is sponsoring a 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the battle. The ceremony is planned for May 22, 2018.

Among those killed in action was 1st Lt. Victor David Westphall. In response to Lt. Westphall’s death, his parents (Dr. and Mrs. Victor Westphall) created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial near Angel Fire, New Mexico. At that time, they also founded the David Westphall Veterans Foundation as a nonprofit corporation to own and operate the Memorial.

The ceremony will be at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Memorial was founded in July of 1968 and construction was begun in September of 1968. It is the first memorial designed and dedicated from the outset to remember and honor all Vietnam veterans. The Memorial is located near Angel Fire, New Mexico. It is now owned by the State of New Mexico and is operated by the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services.

Next of kin of those Marines who were killed in action are invited as are all Marines and Corpsmen who participated in the May 22, 1968 battle, as well as their family members. Any member, past of present, of the 1st Battalion 4th Marines as well as the public are welcome and are encouraged to attend.

The time for the ceremony will be announced at a later time. Traditionally, ceremonies such as those for Memorial Day and Veterans Day have started at 11:00 a.m. The details of the ceremony are being developed but there will be a “missing man” roll call to recognize those who were killed in action. All participants in the battle who attend the ceremony will be recognized as well. Attendees who wish to speak in memory of one of the Marines killed in this battle will have an opportunity to do that.

Anyone interested in attending this event may contact Walter Westphall [ wwestphall@cox.net ] to let him know about their plans and to get additional information.

The Foundation has arranged for a group rate at the following hotel:

The Lodge at Angel Fire Resort [Website: https://www.angelfireresort.com/lodging ]
Group rate-$87 plus tax per night for standard room. [Ask for “non-profit” rate]
Telephone: 844-218-4107
Email: cenres@angelfireresort.com
Address: 10 Miller Lane, Angel Fire, New Mexico 87710

Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.angelfirechamber.org