What does a 50-foot NRA range for .22 rifles in Oklahoma have to do with the combat effectiveness and survival of a Marine in Vietnam? In the young life of R.S. Hildreth, almost everything.
On April 11, 1986, FBI agents of the Miami Bank Robbery Squad engaged in a gun battle that left four men dead and five others wounded.
For 71 years, eight months, and six days they waited in an unmarked burial pit on a sliver of an island called Betio in what is now known as the Republic of Kiribati. All 36 of them, most of whom were rifleman from the 8th Marine Regiment, lost their lives during the first major battle of the Central Pacific Campaign.
On Sept. 27, 2015, more than 70 years after one of the most intense and bloodiest battles of World War II during which more than 1,000 Marines lost their lives, the remains of Medal of Honor recipient 1st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr. were repatriated to his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn.
This week's "Throwback Thursday" originated in the November 1966 American Rifleman as the United States' military involvement in Vietnam continued to grow.