PERRY, ELMER JOSEPH, JR.
PERRY, ELMER JOSEPH, JR.
Rank / Branch:
3RD MARINE DIVISION
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE OTHER EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
ELMER JOSEPH PERRY, JR., SERGEANT, USMC, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star with "V" device,
Purple Heart, Marine Corp Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal BIOGRAPHY
Elmer Perry was born in Birmingham, Alabama to Patricia and Elmer J. Perry. His parents divorced and he lived with his mother and step father in Odessa. He attended Odessa Schools prior to going into the Marines. He enlisted in the Marine Corp in 1961 at age 17, trained in infantry and was making the Marine Corp his career. He re-enlisted in 1965. He was married to Madelene I. Perry.
Marine Corp ID Picture-1961He began his tour in Vietnam on January 11, 1968 and was assigned as a squad leader with D Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. In late April 1968, it became apparent that the North Vietnamese Army was again moving across the DMZ into the area north of Dong Ha. On April 29, 1968, the ARVN 2nd Infantry Regiment sent its 1st and 4th Battalions in a pincer movement to locate and engage the NVA elements around An Binh. Task Force Robbie, consisting of Delta 1/9 Marines reinforced with tanks from Alpha 3rd Tanks, was sent to relieve the building pressure on the ARVN southern flank.
The Task Force ran into trouble at Cam Vu, about 5,000 meters west of An Binh, where a North Vietnamese blocking force was waiting for them. After taking 10 dead and 22 wounded in a six hour fight against a clearly superior force, the Marines of Robbie broke off contact and withdrew. The ARVN forces had absorbed 17 dead and 47 wounded, could not link up and also withdrew.
. At this point, the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, was brought into the fight, advancing toward Cam Vu. India 3/9 was the first to make contact, encountering a L shaped ambush just north of Cam Vu. As the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines other three companies deployed in support of India, the NVA broke contact and withdrew under cover of artillery fire from within and north of the DMZ.
. The fighting around Cam Vu was parallel by the engagements of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines who were in contact with elements of the 325tgh NVA Division at Dai Do, some 4 miles north of Cam Vu. These engagements-the 2nd ARVN Infantry, 1/9, and 3/9 at Cam Vu and 2/4 at Dai Do were the opening engagements in what became known as the Battle of Dong Ha.
. While the Cam Vu fights cost the North Vietnamese at least 197 dead, Allied losses also were high:
· 1ST Bn, 9th Marines – 10 dead
· 3rd Bn, 9th Marines – 36 dead
· 1st and 4th Bns, 2nd ARVN Infantry – 17 dead
Sergeant Perry was was among the 10 men killed in the opening engagement with Task Force Robbie at Cam Vu . He was killed from multiple fragments wounds from a Rocket Propelled Grenade. He was buried with full military honors in the Good Shepard Cemetery in Huntington Beatch, California. He was survived by his wife, Mattie and his two sons, the oldest Allen at age 2 and the youngest who was born May 2, 1968 three days after Sgt Perry was killed. He was also survived by his mother Patricia Tennison of Odessa, Texas.
Sergeant Perry was presented a posthumous Bronze Star with "V" device for the action that cost him his life.
. COMMANDER IN CHIEF
UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Meal posthumously to
Sergeant Elmer J. PERRY, Jr.
United States Marine Corps
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving as a Platoon Guide with Company D, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division. On 29 April 1968, Company D was moving through an area near Cam Lo when the unit came under intense small arms fire from a North Vietnamese Army force, pinning down Sergeant's Perry's platoon and inflicting numerous casualties. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, he unhesitatingly exposed himself to hostile fire in order to move to an advantageous position from which to deliver M-79 grenade launcher fire against the enemy. Completely disregarding his own safety, he provided accurate covering fire which accounted for three North Vietnamese confirmed killed and facilitated the evacuation of several Marine casualties. While subsequently maneuvering to another firing position, he was mortally wounded by the hostile fire. Sergeant PERRY'S bold initiative, dauntless courage and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Services."
The Combat "V" is authorized.
For the President
John J. Hyland
Admiral, U.S. Navy
Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet
Transcribed from a copy of the citation by
Billy M. Brown
September 15, 2007
Good Shepard Cemetery, Hunington Beach, Calfornia