On This Day, 14-MAY 1967, We Honor a Fallen Hero

Ben Dominic Bono was born on December 19, 1946.  Ben lived in O’Fallon Missouri.  Ben was the son of Lucille Sayers and Ben F. Bono, and stepson of James Salyers.  Ben had five brothers and two sisters.  Ben attended O’Fallon High School and worked as a garage mechanic.  Ben enlisted in the US Marine Corps on 28 MAR 1966. In Vietnam he was served with the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, E Company.  He had the rank of Lance Corporal and his specialty was assault man.  

Lance Corporal Bono was killed in action, by gunshot wound during Operation Union.  The operation ended on 16 MAY 1967.  The major fighting started on Hill 110 on 10 May when 30 Marines and Corpsman died killing 161 confirmed and 136 probable. There were 4 Silver Stars and a Navy Cross awarded on that day. Operation Union lasted 27 days with almost constant and fierce fighting in the Que Son Valley, the VC/NVA breadbasket where they had reined unmolested since the start of the war.  Marines and Corpsman suffered 110 KIA and 473 WIA over that 27 days. They killed 865 enemy of which 486 were NVA 2nd Division. Many historians believe that the 2nd Division was slated to attack Danang during the Tet Offensive but was instead decimated in the Que Son Valley during Union and Union II in May and June. 

Ben Dominic Bono was initially interred at Jefferson Barracks and later buried at Assumption Cemetery, O’Fallon, Missouri. Ben is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC.  His name is inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 19e, Line 115. Vietnam casualty buried at Assumption Cemetery.  

Ben is honored and remembered at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.  

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.