Medal of Honor

 

 

PERKINS, WILLIAM THOMAS, JR. *

 

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division

 

Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 12 October 1967

 

Entered service at: San Francisco, California

 

Born: 10 August 1947, Rochester, New York

 

Citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a combat photographer attached to Company C. During Operation MEDINA, a major reconnaissance in force southwest of Quang Tri. Company C made heavy combat contact with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force estimated at from 2 to 3 companies. The focal point of the intense fighting was a helicopter landing zone which was also serving as the Command Post of Company C. In the course of a strong hostile attack, an enemy grenade landed in the immediate area occupied by Cpl. Perkins and 3 other marines. Realizing the inherent danger, he shouted the warning, "Incoming Grenade" to his fellow marines, and in a valiant act of heroism, hurled himself upon the grenade absorbing the impact of the explosion with his body, thereby saving the lives of his comrades at the cost of his life. Through his exceptional courage and inspiring valor in the face of certain death, Cpl. Perkins reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

 

William Perkins Jr. is the Marine on the left, holding the light meter. Photo taken March, 1967 at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Thanks to Bill Keller for the photo.


 

--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: PERKINS

First name: WILLIAM THOMAS JR

Home of Record (official): SEPULVEDA

State (official): CA

Date of Birth: Sunday, August 10, 1947

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: CPL

Serial Number: 2296240

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E4

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 4631

 

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Unknown/Not reported

Date of Casualty: Thursday, October 12, 1967

Age at time of loss: 20

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Other explosive device (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Quang Tri

The Wall: Panel 27E - Row 097


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