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Friday, March 6, 2009

Corporal William Thomas Perkins Jr.

Date & Location: October 12, 1967 - Quang Tri Vietnam

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, Calif. Born: 10 August 1947, Rochester, N.Y. 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 .