Ben Skwiercz grew up in South Bend, Indiana in a Gold Star Family with older brothers who were Marines and fought in Korea, his oldest brother fought as a Recon Marine at the Chosin Reservoir and was later killed in action in Korea. Ben joined the Marine Corps in 1964 and after an attempt at Naval Aviation found his way to the artillery community and to Vietnam in 1966. As an artillery forward observer Ben supporting infantry operation against the Viet Cong in the vicinity of the USMC base at Da Nang and then subsequently headed to the northern part of I Corps as the 3rd Marine Division locked horns with the infantry units of the North Vietnamese Army.
During Ben’s time in what became known at “Leatherneck Square” he served as the Battalion S-2 for 1st Battalion, 12th Marines. We’ll talk to Ben about fighting a “near peer” in 1966-1967.