Read the latest entry in the Medal of Honor Blog: Six Medal of Honor Recipients who Saved Lives Between the Lines

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Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

William Thomas Perkins Jr.

Details
  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines,
    1st Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 12, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam
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 two to three 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 three 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient William T. Perkins Jr.
Medal of Honor Recipient William T. Perkins Jr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: San Francisco, San Francisco County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 20, 1969
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: August 10, 1947, Rochester, Monroe County, NY, United States
  • Died: October 12, 1967, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: San Fernando Mission Cemetery (D-254-8), San Fernando, CA, United States
 

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