Seabee Base honors fallen Seabee
It’s a re-enactment of the Battle of Dong Xoai to honor the fallen Seabee Medal of Honor recipient Marvin Shields. News 25’s Taylor Rubach was on the battlefield at the Seabee Base and gives us an inside look of the battle from 1965.
Sights and sounds reminiscent of the Battle of Dong Xoai in Vietnam in 1965 filled the Seabee Base in Gulfport. Explosions erupted on the life like battlefield as teams of Seabees and Special Forces were bombarded by the Vietcong. CEC Select William Callahan said, “The Vietcong came in to overtake the camp that they were at. It was part of Team 1104. What Marvin G. Shields did, he got wounded a couple of times and then finally mortally wounded after blowing up the machine gun nest.”
Wounded but driven, Seabee Marvin Shields helped carry the wounded Special Forces captain to safety and then destroyed a Vietcong machine gun with a rocket launcher, an inspiring man who Patrick Garrett was honored to portray. “I’m not a Seabee. I’m an MA on the base here and for me to play this role, it was an honor for them to pick me first and then get to portray what some people say is the greatest Seabee ever.”
Chief Select Dave Sitone said, “It’s great to do these re-enactments that way the legends in the story live on so the future sailors don’t forget about this sort of thing.”
Re-enactor Griffin Bossingham said, “The fact that he was still wounded and was able to help out his comrades and he still fulfilled the mission that he needed to do.”
Shields was air evacuated from Dong Xoai severely wounded and later died during the evacuation, but through his bravery and selfless acts, Shields was awarded the Medal of Honor, the only Seabee to receive this award. “Well anybody that receives the Medal of Honor, I mean it’s the highest military award so they gave the ultimate sacrifice and it’s for the junior troops out there that we remember and everyone remembers what they went through,” said Garrett.