THOMAS, ELMER WAYNE
THOMAS, ELMER WAYNE
Rank / Branch:
CORPORAL E-3, U.S. A
198TH LIGHT INFANTRY
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE-SMALL ARMS F
Awards & Decorations:
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ELMER WAYNE THOMAS, CORPORAL, U.S. ARMY, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATONS
Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Elmer Wayne Thomas used his middle name of ‘Wayne.” He was born in Odessa, the 6th child of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Thomas. He attended Odessa schools, attending Crockett Junior High School and Odessa High. He last attended Odessa High in 1961 and dropped out in his junior year. He got married, was the father of a daughter, Susan Carol. He went to work in the oilfield. He was divorced in 1966 and was drafted into the U.S. Army in the summer of 1967.
E. Wayne Thomas-Odessa High School-1961
He reported for basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana in August 1967 and then finished in AIT in infantry. He had a 14 day leave prior to starting his tour in Vietnam. He started his tour on February 6, 1968 and got into country during the TET offensive. He was assigned as an infantryman with B Company, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, 198th Light Infantry Brigade under the operational control of the 23rd Division (Americal).
On May 25, 1968, he and four other troops were on a listening post in the night defensive position (NDP)and he was shot to death by a sniper. He had been in Vietnam three months. His parents reported that he had been really interested in the Paris peace talks and spoke of it in many of his letters.
Sunset Memorial Garden's Cemetery, Odessa, Texas
He was buried with full military honors in the Sunset Memorial Garden’s Cemetery in Odessa, Texas. He received a posthumous promotion to Corporal. He was survived by his daughter, Susan Carol of Odessa, his parents, his older brothers, Tommy of Ozona, Johnny Ray of Dallas and his two older sisters, Patricia Dale of Riverside, California and Peggy Joe Everett of Odessa. He, also, was survived by his younger brother, Jimmy Lee of Odessa.