Ernest Clifford Cheatham Jr. (July 27, 1929 – June 14, 2014) was a United States Marine Corps officer, a veteran of the Korean War and the Vietnam War, a recipient of the Navy Cross, and American football defensive tackle who played for the Baltimore Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lt Col Cheatham served as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines during the Vietnam War.
On 2 February 1968 Cheatham was at Phu Bai Combat Base when he was ordered into Huế to take command of his companies already engaged in the Battle of Hue. Before leaving for Huế, Cheatham reviewed Marine urban fighting doctrine which recommended staying off the streets and moving forward by blasting through walls and buildings. He proceeded to gather the necessary equipment including M20 Bazookas, M40 106mm recoilless rifles mounted on M274 Mules, C-4 explosive, flamethrowers, tear gas and gas masks. This equipment was loaded onto a convoy which arrived at the MACV Compound at 1 pm on 3 February, Cheatham then joined his Company commanders in Huế University and they proceeded to develop the tactics to be used in recapturing southern Huế. Cheatham led his forces as they methodically cleared the Viet Cong and People’s Army of Vietnam forces from the western area of southern Huế.
He was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism leading 2/5 Marines during the battle.
More background here
here is the Gringo 40 Miniature of Ernest Cheatham painted with Contrast paints:
Here he is together with the Grunts of fire team 3:
2 thoughts on “Lt. Colonel Ernest Clifford Cheatham”
Very cool- sounds like he was the right man in the right place for the battle at Hue.