Sowell, Jimmie, Sgt

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Current Service Status
USMC Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Current/Last Primary MOS
0231-Intelligence Specialist
Current/Last MOSGroup
Previously Held MOS
0300-Basic Infantryman
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 0231, 1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1), 1st Marine Regiment
Service Years
1965 - 1967
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Certificate of Commendation
Cold War Certificate



 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

US Marines Corps Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration Cold War

 Military Association Memberships
Post 259Chapter 106
  2003, American Legion, Post 259 (Member at Large) (Paradise, California) [Verified]
  2017, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 106 (Member ) (Paradise, California)

 Photo Album   (More...

  1966-1967, 0231, 1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1), 1st Marine Regiment

From Month/Year
May / 1966
To Month/Year
July / 1967
1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1) Unit Page
0231-Intelligence Specialist
Hoi An
 1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1), 1st Marine Regiment Details

1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment  (1/1), 1st Marine Regiment

On 10 July 1930, the designation of the 1st Marine Regiment was changed to its present, permanent title of 1st Marines by a Corps-wide redesignation of units. On 1 November 1931, the 1st Marines, as a regiment, was disbanded. A large part of its personnel joined the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Expeditionary Force organized at Quantico the same date. On 31 October 1947, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was disbanded, and the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, was redesignated 1st Marines, Fleet Marine Force, Western Pacific. During this period, the 1st Marines was at BLT strength in keeping with Marine Corps budgetary restrictions The 1st Marines again came into existence on 4 August 1950 by redesignation of the 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division. On 2 September, the regiment arrived at Kobe, Japan. In a few short weeks, the 1st Marines had been reborn, brought up to combat strength, and carried half way around the world.

On 17 March 1959, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, initiated the transplacement program, which called for organizing and training a unit, such as an infantry battalion, at Camp Pendleton, and then moving the trained unit to Okinawa, where it becomes a unit of the 3d Marine Division. In turn, a similar sized unit from that division returned to Pendleton, where, over a period of months, it was re-organized and trained to await its turn for a tour overseas.

On 15 October 1962, aerial photographs were analyzed and the presence of strategic missiles and sites in Cuba was indicated. After a quarantine of Cuba was ordered by the President, the units which were to participate in the blockade were alerted. Guantanamo had been reinforced and the order to activate the 5th MEB, had been issued before most of the American people were aware that the crisis had developed. With the activation order, the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 1st Marines began organizing for deployment with the 5th MEB. The dismantling of the missile sites by the Russians brought about the order to return to Camp Pendleton. On 01 December 1962, 1/1 and 3/1, on board the USS BEXAR, BAYFIELD, and the OKANAGAN, arrived at Guantanamo, and departed the next day with the 2d Battalion on board.

In the 1980's, the Battalion rotated between 3rd Marine Division at Okinawa and 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. During the liberation of Kuwait, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines fought amid dense smoke. Unable to employ close air support and artillery, their tactics relied on TOW gunners using thermal sights. In spite of poor visibility, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, destroyed about 43 enemy vehicles and captured more than 500 prisoners. The drive by the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, set off a chain of events. When the 1st Battalion proceeded north it encountered Iraqi units moving across the division front. The battalion halted the southern flank unit of a brigade-size enemy force, fixed it in place, and ultimately destroyed it.

Since the Gulf War, the Battalion has made various deployments to: Thailand; Singapore; South Korea; United Arab Emirates; Persian Gulf; and Australia. From October through November 1999, the Battalion participated in Operation Stabilise in East Timor.

1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, is stationed at Camp Pendleton. After participating in Combined Armed Exercise (CAX) 1-01 from 01 October 2000 - 21 October 2000, it attached to 15th MEU in February 2001 for an August 2001 deployment.

Activation Periods

  • July 10, 1930 – October 31, 1947
  • August 9, 1950 – May 28, 1974
  • October 15, 1975 – present
Ground Unit
Parent Unit
1st Marine Regiment
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Nov 20, 2017
Memories For This Unit

Best Friends
I arrived in VIetnam, landing at Da Nang airbase May 66.  Was assigned to Bravo Co. 1/1/1 in Phu Bi and attached to the 3rd Marine Division.  We quickly relocated just north of Hoi An on the sand dunes where I spent the rest of my time in Vietnam.  With Bravo Co. we ran patrols during the day and ambushes at night, over and over again.  We always received sniper fire but could not see the enemy.  Bobby traps took out a few of the members of my squad but I guess I was lucky.

After 2 months I was assigned to the H&S S-2 Battalion Scouts where I spent 6 months running special night patrols/ambushes/etc.  We also protected the S-3 group on special operations.  Next I was assigned to the S-2 Intelligence where I received intel reports for numerous sources and plotted on a map the enemy contacts and movement.  I typed up intel reports for the S-3 Command and the company commanders in the field.  I went on most all larger operations to interagate and process prisoners.

Robert (Bobby) Ross was sent to take my place so I could rotate home.  I was training him and the Lt. and I decided he was ready for his first operation and went in my place.  He was shot by the VC died overnight in the Da Nang hospital.  Next W.D. Ehrhart was sent as a replacement.  I trained Bill so I could rotate home.

After rotating home I was assigned to special services at El Toro Airbase and worked in the weight room until I was discharged.

Best Moment
I really don't know of any best moments other than surviving mortar attackes and enemy fire.


Worst Moment
One of the worst moments was while driving the S-2 Mighty Mite Jeep in Hoi An a young kid, about 8 years old, started to throw a grenade into the jeep and I had to shoot him.  The grenade went off and injured several civilians near the kid.

My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
603 Members Also There at Same Time
1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1)

Barber, Allen, Cpl, (1966-1968) 2 0201 Corporal
Barber, Allen, Cpl, (1966-1968) 2 0201 Corporal
Patrick, John, HM3, (1964-1968) Other Service Rank
Bell, Van D., Col 3 0302 Lieutenant Colonel
Van Winkle, Archie, Col, (1942-1974) 3 0302 Lieutenant Colonel
Ahearn, Brian F.X., Capt, (1962-1969) 3 0301 Captain
Cole Jr., Robert K T, Capt, (1965-1980) 3 0302 Captain
Lesnik, Mike, Capt, (1962-1970) 75 7501 Captain
Dodson, Robert, 1stLt, (1966-1968) 3 0306 First Lieutenant
Lampo, Steve, LtCol 3 0302 First Lieutenant
Rohlich, Gerard, 1stLt, (1966-1969) 3 0301 First Lieutenant
Hunkapiller, James R., 1stLt, (1966-1967) 3 0302 Second Lieutenant
Smith, Ray, MGen, (1966-1999) 3 0302 Second Lieutenant
Chapman, Dalton, MSgt, (1967-1987) 25 2591 Master Sergeant
Canley, John, SgtMaj, (1953-1981) 3 0369 Gunnery Sergeant
Hall, Jon, GySgt, (1964-1974) 3 0317 Gunnery Sergeant
Canley, John, SgtMaj, (1953-1981) 3 0369 Staff Sergeant
Dikes, John, SSgt, (1963-1973) 3 0311 Staff Sergeant
Flanagan, George Francis, SSgt, (1958-1968) 18 1811 Staff Sergeant
Floyd, Boyce, MSgt, (1959-1980) 3 0369 Staff Sergeant
Haskell, Lloyd Burton, SSgt, (1952-1966) 3 0369 Staff Sergeant
Mason, John, SSgt, (1967-1971) 3 0311 Staff Sergeant
Wagoner, Gary, SSgt, (1966-1968) 3 0311 Staff Sergeant
Youngblood, Michael, SSgt, (1963-1972) 25 2578 Staff Sergeant
Allen, Herbert, Sgt, (1966-1974) 3 0331 Sergeant
Baca, Humberto, Sgt, (1965-1969) 30 3041 Sergeant
Banks, Robert, Sgt, (1963-1967) 3 0311 Sergeant
Battista, Al, Sgt, (1963-1966) 8 0841 Sergeant
Bertelli, Raymond, Sgt, (1966-1969) 3 0311 Sergeant
Booth, Henry, Sgt, (1961-1966) 3 0341 Sergeant
Brashears, Arnold, Sgt, (1964-1968) 3 0311 Sergeant
Caliva, Michael, Sgt, (1964-1968) 33 3371 Sergeant
Campbell, Harry, Sgt, (1966-1969) 3 0341 Sergeant
Courreges, Joel, Sgt, (1967-1970) 3 0324 Sergeant
Davis, Granville, Sgt, (1964-1971) 25 2531 Sergeant
Frey, Richard, Sgt, (1967-1970) 25 2531 Sergeant
Gendron, Wes, Sgt, (1964-1967) 3 0331 Sergeant
Glassford, Frank, SSgt, (1966-1969) 3 0341 Sergeant
Goulette, Richard F. "Dick", Sgt, (1963-1967) 3 0311 Sergeant
Gray, Terry, Sgt, (1966-1968) 3 0341 Sergeant
Jacklinski, Elaine Clem, Sgt, (1964-1967) 25 2511 Sergeant
Kidd, John, Sgt, (1967-1971) 28 2841 Sergeant
Lawrence, Richard, GySgt 3 0311 Sergeant
Lomen, William, Sgt, (1966-1969) 3 0311 Sergeant
Martinez, Richard, Sgt, (1966-1970) 21 2111 Sergeant
Middlebrooks, David, Sgt, (1966-1972) 3 0311 Sergeant
Musick, Lester, Sgt, (1963-1967) 3 0369 Sergeant
OBannon, Frederick, Sgt, (1965-1967) 3 0311 Sergeant
Parsons, Hugh, Sgt, (1962-1966) 25 2533 Sergeant
Ramirez, Daniel, Sgt, (1967-1971) 3 0311 Sergeant
Raub, Steve, Sgt, (1965-1971) 3 0311 Sergeant
Reinhart, Dana, Sgt, (1959-1966) 59 5936 Sergeant
Rocheford, Dennis, CDR, (1987-2009) 25 2531 Sergeant
Saltzburg, Barry, Sgt, (1964-1967) 1 0141 Sergeant
Scott, Duane, Sgt, (1966-1969) 3 0311 Sergeant
Stults, Eveans Jerry, Sgt, (1962-1966) 3 0311 Sergeant
Thomas, Earl, Sgt, (1966-1969) 25 2533 Sergeant
Tobin Sr., Dennis, Sgt, (1966-1968) 13 1371 Sergeant
Yates, Ed, Sgt, (1964-1969) 3 0311 Sergeant

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