The Tiger Encounter
The Marine in cammy's is Harry J. Corsetti (3rd Force).Harry died in June, 1984.
Following Article was written by Sgt. Bob Morris and published in
Northern Marine Magazine in 1968
man-eating tiger was killed by members of a small recon patrol when the
400 pound cat attacked a 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Marine in the
northwestern corner of South Vietnam. The attacked Marine survived.
The six man recon team was on an observation mission near Fire Support
Base Alpine, about six miles east of the Laotian Border, when it
encountered the tiger. The team had completed its assigned mission and was
waiting to be heli-lifted from the area, when the incident occurred. Bad
weather conditions had prevented their immediate extraction and the team
had posted a two-man radion watch while the others settled down to sleep.
The tiger struck swiftly and silently. "Suddenly I heard somebody
scream,"said PFC Thomas E. Shainline, "then somebody else was yelling, it's
a tiger, its a tiger!"
PFC Roy Regan, who had been sleeping next to the victim recalled, "I
jumped up and saw the tiger with his mouth around my partner. All I could
think about was to get the tiger away from him. I jumped at the tiger and
the cat jerked his head and jumped into a bomb crater 10 meters away, still
holding his pray."
The Marines quickly followed the tiger to the crater and opened fire on
the attacking beast. They could not be sure which one of them actually
killed the tiger, since they all fired at it.
Once hit, the tiger released his pray and the man staggered out of the
"He looked dazed and he asked what
happened", recalled PFC Maurice M.
The injured Marine was immediately given first aid treatment and a Marine
CH-46 helicopter arrived to pick up the injured Marine, the rest of the
team and the dead tiger.
The injured Marine was rushed to the 3rd Medical Battalion Hospital at
Quang Tri, suffering from lacerations and bites on the neck.
The tiger, measuring at least nine feet from head to tail was transported
to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion headquarters.
After examining the huge beast, MajGen. Raymond G. Davis, Commanding
General, 3rd Marine Division and Assistant Division Commander, BrigGen.
Robert B. Carney, Jr., congratulated the reconnaissance team for killing
the animal. It is believed to be the same animal that killed a Marine
earlier in the vicinity of Fire Support Base Alpine.
Also on hand to examine the beast, now very still and hanging from a ten
foot scaffold was Phan Van Sang, a professional Vietnamese tiger hunter,
who had participated in a tiger hunt, organized following the first tiger
incident six weeks before.
Sang told the Marines that he had killed five tigers in his 20 years of
hunting, but that he had never seen one as large as the man-eating cat. He
expressed the belief that the tiger might very well be the same cat that
attacked the other Marine. He explained that large cats usually work only
in pairs and tend to hunt in the same area.
For the recon team, it was a memorable experience, marred only by the
injury to one of its members. But as they looked at the strung-up 400 pound
man eater, they knew that this tiger would never attack another Marine.
note: The injured Marine was Richard
P. Goolden who was medically retired
as a result of the attack.