Gautreau, Raymond (Interview transcript and video), 2017


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Gautreau, Raymond (Interview transcript and video), 2017


Smither, James (Interviewer)


Raymond Gautreau was born on January 12, 1948 in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, and graduated high school in New Hampshire in 1965. Since his family lacked empathy, Gautreau decided to join the Marine Corps after high school despite news about the war in Vietnam. For Basic Training, he was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina. After Basic, Gautreau was transferred to Camp Geiger, North Carolina, for Infantry Training. After that, he was assigned the Military Occupational Specialty of artilleryman in a 105mm Howitzer Battery attached to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Gautreau underwent artillery training with his new unit on Vieques Island near Puerto Rico before deploying to Da Nang, Vietnam. In Vietnam, he joined the A Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division at a base outside Da Nang in 1966. His unit also spent some time closer to the Demilitarized Zone at Con Thien where, one night, Gautreau was thrown from his hooch by a nearby mortar explosion. He received shrapnel in the knee, groin, hip, and dropped in and out of consciousness as medics attended to his wounds. He was then medevacked to Chu Lai Air Base for proper medical attention before being transferred to a hospital ship en route to Hong Kong because of the severity of his injuries. After nearly two months, Gautreau returned to his artillery unit at Con Thien. His unit then participated in the nearly month-long amphibious invasion of the DMZ in April of 1967. For a short period, Gautreau served as his unit’s Section Chief in charge of their artillery cannon since there were few available Corporals and Noncommissioned Officers. After Con Thien, his unit transferred to Camp Carroll. At the end of his tour, Gautreau was flown back to Da Nang, then to Okinawa, Japan, before landing in California. For the rest of his deployment, he assisted the artillery range courses for the officer training at Quantico, Virginia. Gautreau was officially discharged from the Marines in 1968 and soon took up work as an electrician’s assistant before quitting, working several small jobs, and then moving to Michigan. Reflecting upon his time in the service, Gautreau was proud of his commitment and viewed it as an overall positive experience in his life. He is also appreciative of the benefits he received through the VA and hopes his grandchildren will never have to experience war in their lifetimes.




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Grand Valley State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI, 49401.


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






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Gautreau, Raymond J., “Gautreau, Raymond (Interview transcript and video), 2017,” Digital Collections, accessed November 30, 2023,
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