About the Project

The March, 1968, Command Chronology for 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, reported:                                                                                                                    

At 291405H, C-3 received six rounds of estimated 120mm mortar fire from YD 096623 resulting in one KIA, three WIA's med-evac and one WIA non-evac. 

C-3 was a Marine Corps installation that was part of the "McNamara Line," almost 8 miles south of the DMZ in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. The Marine KIA in this mortar attack was 1stLt. Norman E. Lane Jr., age 27. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he had majored in English and had been an outstanding student in the inaugural term of the Vanderbilt-in-France program, Lt. Lane's home of record was Brownsville, Tennessee, a small town sixty miles northeast of Memphis, where I grew up. I can only say that I remember Norman, and we did meet at least a few times—but I was not old enough to have been his close friend.  

In life—and in death—the story of Norman Lane is like a prism. But unlike an ordinary prism, which disperses light into the colors of the spectrum, this prism transforms a dramatic period in American history—the years 1960-1968—into individual pictographs that tell of the exploits of those who passed by. . . . 

                                    Other echoes
            Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
            Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
            Round the corner. Through the first gate,
            Into our first world, shall we follow
            The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.

—T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton"

Al Claiborne 
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 
February, 2019