2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

Page 1, Memorial

1966 – Fort Riley, Kansas – Butch carrying a 90MM Recoilless Rifle in Advanced Infantry Training

Introduction   Marion Troy “Butch” Eakins was workin’ at the Caterpillar Plant in Peoria, Illinois and he was minding his own business back in the Spring of 1966 when he abruptly received his “Greetings” letter from Uncle Sam. Before he knew it, he found himself at Fort Riley, Kansas learning a completely different kind of job. However, Butch was a good natured young man and he was very well acquainted with hard work, so he quickly adapted to the rigors of infantry training.  You see, Butch was already experiencing a rough life – both, his mother and father had died while he was very young.

At Fort Riley, we Charlie Company troopers endured a tough training program in what I considered extreme weather conditions (many of us were from Southern California). While the weeks and months rolled by, we became proficient soldiers and we became a team as we readied for war.  I have always thought that, that time when we were young and when we were soldiers in a unique fighting unit (The Mobile Riverine Force), brought us together as an extended family. Butch was an excellent soldier, he was a good friend and he was a loyal American.  Butch gave his life for his country during a brutal firefight with a strong Viet Cong force in the Mekong Delta on July 11, 1967. Butch was a tough fighter and he died a hero that terrible day.  And so, Butch, you will always remain in our family and you will never be forgotten …                  Bill Reynolds – April 22, 2002

These guys, Butch and his buddy from Los Angeles, Donald Jackson, worked together as one of 2nd Platoon’s machine gun crews.
2nd Platoon buddies, Mike Cramer and Butch.  Both are really delighted with our fine living quarters at Camp Bearcat, South Viet Nam. February, 1967
Smilin’ Butch aboard the troop ship USS General John Pope – January, 1967.
Butch gettin’ his M-16 with the “over-under” M-79 Grenade Launcher ready for another patrol.
Here’s a fine Mobile Riverine Warrior – Butch wearing his flax jacket during a patrol in the Mekong Delta.
Butch hangin’ out in the sleeping quarters aboard one of the Mobile Riverine Barrack Ships
Butch enjoying a Coca Cola during a break between patrols down in the Mekong Delta.
Butch Eakins – he was a good soldier and he was a good buddy to all of us 2nd Platoon troopers.  Butch, you will never be forgotten