Did you know Cornelius H. Ram (Major)

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Ram_mike1

Did you know Cornelius H. Ram (Major)

#1 Postby Ram_mike1 » Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:45 am

I think my father was a member of the 2/5, however, I could not find his name. How do I confirm? How do I find out if my father was in this group?

He was:

CORNELIUS H. RAM
Home Of Record:
JERSEY CITY
County:
Hudson
Status:
Killed In Action
Rank:
MAJ
Branch Of Service:
Marines
Country Of Incident:
SVN
Date of Casualty:
January 10, 1971

He entered the US Navy on February 12, 1951. He re-enlisted on February 3, 1958. He served with the US Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine, 1st Marine Division. He attained the rank of Major (MAJ).http://www.njvvmf.org/returns.cfm?UID=1372

Anyone with information, please email me at ram_mike1@yahoo.com

Thanks, and God Bless you all.

VS765
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:34 pm
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Location: Kentucky

#2 Postby VS765 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:52 pm

Mike:
I'm sorry but I just found this site and your post of 2005 asking about your father, Major Cornelius Ram. I was a corporal with H&S Company, 106mm Recoiless Rifle Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 5 Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division stationed out of LZ Baldy in the fall of 1970. LZ Baldy was a Marine base located about 30 miles south of Da Nang, just west of Highway 1 on the north side of the Que Son Mountains, at the edge of the coastal plain along the South China Sea. Your Dad was the Executive Officer of 2/5, the second in command of the Battalion. I met him and spoke with him many times and I can tell you he was a fine man and a fine officer and he was very well respected by all the enlisted men I knew, particularly since he was a "Mustanger", an officer who rose from the enlisted ranks. I remember Major ram as a short, stocky man with a weathered face and a determined "bulldog" pace. He never strolled or meandered when he walked, always moving briskly and decisively as if with a definite pupose and destination in mind. His unforms were always clean and sharp and I seem to remember he preferred and often wore the older solid olive drab jungle utilities instead of the newer camoflage utilities then recently issued only to the Marine Corps. He was armed with a .45 automatic pistol almost every time I saw him and he wore his green cotton 8-point utility cover (we didn't have camoflage utility covers back then) in a very distinctive manner. His cover was faded with age and the crown worn shaped but soft, instead of starched and sharply ironed and creased, set squarely on his head and low over his brow with the bill shaped pretty flat instead of cupped, and very slightly rolled upward at the front edge. I tell you, you could pick Major Ram out of a company of men at a half mile. He was Old Corps "salty" and at 39 an "old man" to us and an inspiration to every young Marine under his command. As I said, I spoke with your Dad one on one on many occasions, almost always late at night while manning the perimeter watch or standing gun watch on a bunker set high on top of a cone shaped hill on the north side of LZ Baldy. The hill position was called "Eagles Nest" and mounted a 106mm recoiless rifle, an 81mm mortar tube and a .50 caliber M2 machinegun that we kept covered and hidden because it was kind of black market and not officially issued to us. The hill was about 100' high with steep slopes and from the top we had an incredible view and field of fire across the costal plain along the entire north side of LZ Baldy. Major Ram walked all the way up that hill almost every night to sit with us on the bunker for a few minutes and ask if we needed anything and to talk about things. He had leutenants and sargeants to check the lines and he didn't have to do that, but he did and I know he stopped and talked with a lot of other Marines on watch along the perimeter in the night. He cared deeply and personally about his men and his duty and that made him pretty special.

Your Dad was killed in action on January 10, 1971 in the Que Son Mountains while on a Battalion operation south(west) of LZ Baldy, the name of which I can not recall. At the time I was on LZ Baldy, with only about a week to go before I was to rotate home, so I can not say I was there near him but I will relate to you the story that was returned by men who were there at the time of the action. A medivac call was radiod out by ground forces for evacuation of a wounded Marine (or Marines). Major Ram and several other officers were in a command helicopter over the ground troops and Major Ram ordered his chopper down to get the wounded Marine(s) and save critical time getting to medical attention. The helicopter landed in a high meadow and Major Ram led a group off to get the wounded. The group included Captain Doug Ford (also from New Jersey) who was my own former Company Commander and who I also knew personally, and at least one other officer whose name I can not recall but who I believe commanded Hotel Company. They moved down a trail into the jungle and had not gone far when the enemy detonated what is called a "daisy chain" of what was believed to be artillery rounds hidden in a row along the trail and all wired together to explode simultaneously when triggered. Your Dad and Captain Ford (who I think then commanded Fox Company) and the other company commander were all killed, along with some enlisted personnel. We were told that the men did not suffer. It was the worst day of my tour in Vietnam when I got the word about your Dad and Captain Ford. Finally, in my last duty in Vietnam, it was my honor to carry the Colors in a color guard assembled for a memorial ceremony held a few days later on LZ Baldy for your Dad and the other fallen officers and men. Sgt. Alonzo Pouncy was in command of the color guard. I believe Corporal Mike(?) Berry also served along with another Marine whose name I can not remember after all these years. The Batallion Commander, a colonel whose name I have also lost in time, spoke firmly and eloquently in eulogizing the fallen officers, your Dad in particular. I remember him referring to Major Ram as "Corky", but over the years I have always wondered if I misheard him saying "Cornie", with the flapping of the Colors in the wind and perhaps the sounds of aircraft, vehicles or artillery in the background. I guess it doesn't really matter now, to me he will always be Major Ram and I will remember him for the rest of my life. Semper FI.
Vern Shanklin, 0351, 2/5/1 USMC, RVN 1970-71
(VS765/VShank@aol.com)

Aroma22
Private
Posts: 3
Age: 71
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Location: Southport, NC

Re: Did you know Cornelius H. Ram (Major)

#3 Postby Aroma22 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:38 am

My name is Tom Conaty and I was the Fire Support Coordinator for 2/5 that fateful day. We were in the Que Son mountains with the Headquarters unit. The battalion commander was LTC Thomas Hamlin who spoke at the eulogy for your wonderful father and Capt. Ford, company commander of Echo Company. The website: www.virtualwall.org recounts that day: A Note from The Virtual Wall
The 5th Marines' Command Chronology for January 1971 contains the following entry:
"On 10 January Major Ram (2/5 XO) and Captain Ford (E Co., CO), while attempting to aid two wounded Marines, were killed by 60mm surprise firing device."
There's a bit more to the story. Major Ram, Executive Officer of 2/5 Marines, and Captain Ford (of Glen Rock, NJ), Commanding Officer of Echo Company, were overhead in a command helicopter when they spotted the wounded Marines in the open and in the path of on-coming enemy troops. The helicopter pilot, convinced the open area was mined, refused to land in the vicinity of the wounded Marines and instead put down at a distance. Major Ram and Captain Ford exited the helicopter and began across the open area toward the wounded men. The pilot was right - the area was mined, and both Major Ram and Captain Ford died as a result. At least one of the two wounded Marines survived; he visited the Ram family several years later and described the circumstances.

I have not been in contact with anyone from 2/5 or Fox, 2/5 where I was a forward observer but my email is tconaty@ec.rr.com. Semper Fi, Tom Conaty (Aroma 22).


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