Memorial for Mark James

Feb. 17, 1947 - Feb. 15, 1968

combat death in Vietnam

The Three Soldiers Statue

Photo taken from the top of Valentine's Ridge, Vietnam
by Ray Felle June 2003

Background material

Find a contemporary encyclopedia article on the nation of Vietnam here and one on the US Vietnam Conflict here.

Click right arrow button in player above (twice if needed) to play the 21st-century-Vietnam video

At the left, a video lesson on Indochina today, the second half of which looks at Vietnam, is: The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century

Vietnam: Fertile Dreams -- As the world’s second largest rice exporter, Vietnam’s booming economy is evident in the explosive growth of Ho Chi Minh City.


"Here is a picture of Lcpl Mark James taken shortly before Valentines Ridge. It was given to [me] by a Corpsman that was in 3rd platoon that day. He died several years ago from Vascular disease. They may have been give[n] to him by Don Carter who was the Radioman for 3rd platoon. L to R Lt. Wszolek Lcpl James Sgt Roane Best Ray Felle"

Casualty Record for Mark Everett James

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The battle report above writes in part:
"Valentine's Ridge... is a small 200-meter hill approximately 1 mile west of Ca Lu combat base and 8 miles east of Khe Sanh combat base. The coordinate is XD990445 to XD978455 running North and South terminating at the Quang Tri River." [Conversion from the MGRS to conventional (geodetic) latitude and longitude can be made using the Java-based tool on the web here within the UTM grid segment 48Q, e.g. 48QXD9900044500.]

A locator map for Khe Sanh, with Ca Lu also marked, is shown immediately below.
(You can place this map in the context of all of Vietnam via a shaded relief map here.)


Shaded relief map of I Corps theater section


Topographic map of Ca Lu and Valentine's Ridge area


Valentine's Ridge
comparison of wartime photo and Google Earth version

    Click on image to see full-size screen capture

"This photo is from a helicopter which is over Ca Lu (the sharp [road] bend in the topo map) looking west to Khe Sanh. Middle Right is OP Texas (has trail leading to it) where 3rd platoon spent there time. VR, running N and S, is almost in the center of this image and trails off to the [Quang Tri] river below. -Ray" Google Earth rendering of Valentine's Rige and environs from downriver (vertical exaggeration=3x) similar to view at left but from over a mile up, looking down. Ray's three MGRS coordinates (se, VR, nw) as converted shown in red. Route of Highway 9 roughly shown as yellow line. (White areas are clouds laid upon underlying ground!)

Slightly further up the river
comparison of wartime photo and Google Earth version

Click on image to see full-size photo here.

Click on image to see full-size screen capture

"Looking west from Ca Lu towards Khe Sanh along QL 9. The river eventually flows through the Ba Long Valley, then past Quang Tri and is seen in the photo of Quang Tri on the previous page." ("taken by my cousin in 1967-68 while he served as a 1LT, USMC" - Jim Singer) Google Earth recreation 2006
16°39'44.79"N
106°48'59.19"E
Route of Highway 9 roughly shown as yellow line. (White areas are clouds laid upon underlying ground!)