JAMES R JERSON
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HONORED ON PANEL 35W, LINE 9 OF THE WALL

JAMES RAY JERSON

WALL NAME

JAMES R JERSON

PANEL / LINE

35W/9

DATE OF BIRTH

06/02/1947

DATE OF CASUALTY

12/30/1968

HOME OF RECORD

NEW ORLEANS

COUNTY OF RECORD

Orleans Parish

STATE

LA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

1LT

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JAMES RAY JERSON
POSTED ON 10.12.2015
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of 1LT James R Jerson

On December 29, 1968, a 10-man reconnaissance patrol was inserted into Cambodia in the tri-border region where South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia meet. The team was made up of two American Special Forces soldiers and eight Montagnard soldiers. The Special Forces team leader broke the group into two sections, going forward with four Montagnards while leaving then-PFC Robert F. Scherdin in charge of the rear section. Shortly thereafter, as the rear section moved forward to rejoin the team, both sections came under heavy attack by NVA troops. Scherdin was badly wounded immediately. A Montagnard commando named Nguang saw Scherdin fall on his right side. Nguang tried to help him stand, but Scherdin only groaned and would not get up. Enemy pressure forced the four Montagnards to withdraw, leaving Scherdin behind. After a running battle, the forward section was able to break contact and were extracted by helicopter. The four men from the rear section were extracted separately. The following day, a 40-man Bright Light team was inserted to search for Scherdin. They included 1LT James R Jerson, a SOG Hatchet Force platoon leader from Command and Control Central (CCC), and SFC Robert "Bob" Howard, supported by Montagnard Special Commando Unit (SCU) troops. Knowing they might be ambushed, 1LT Jerson and SFC Howard climbed a hill where a Chinese claymore exploded, wounding SFC Howard and 1LT Jerson, and leaving them without a weapon. When Howard regained consciousness, he observed the NVA using a flamethrower on the SCU’s bodies. Howard confronted these NVA and they walked away. He then moved 1LT Jerson to an area with thick brush as NVA passed them to engage the main SOG force. Howard then worked his way downhill where he found a single Green Beret. Securing a .45 from the Green Beret, he and the SF trooper fought their way back to where 1LT Jerson was hidden, killing a number of NVA. After six hours of fighting on the hill, Howard and 1LT Jerson were back in a friendly perimeter. Howard was wounded a number of times and was in severe pain, yet he kept up the defense of the perimeter and refused morphine for his pain. (Howard had been wounded in several other engagements with SOG previously). The Hatchet Force was assaulted several times during the night with Howard twice calling fire from a Spectre C-130 through the defensive position. A night extraction was later executed via light provided from dropped parachute flares. Howard was the last aboard and lying in the aircraft, holding 1LT Jerson until he passed out. When Howard became lucid he learned 1LT Jerson had succumbed to his injuries. (Note: Howard was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions). In January 1969, a small Montagnard force was inserted, remaining in the area for four days before being extracted. However, all four men involved died in a post-extraction helicopter crash before they could be debriefed about what they found. No further efforts were made to locate PFC Scherdin or the other missing members of the Bright Light team. Because there was no positive evidence of his death, Scherdin was classed as Missing in Action. He was continued as MIA, and promoted 3 times, until November 27, 1978, when the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death. His remains have not been repatriated. [Taken from macvsog.cc and pownetwork.org]
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POSTED ON 12.30.2014
POSTED BY: A Grateful Vietnam Vet

Thank You

Thank you Lt. Jerson for your leadership and courage.
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POSTED ON 11.25.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net

Remembering An American Hero

Dear 1LT James Ray Jerson, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 3.26.2012
POSTED BY: Billy M. Brown

Honoring Louisiana Veterans Who Lost Their Lives in Vietnam.

Honoring Louisiana Veterans Who Lost Their Lives in Vietnam.
May his sacrifice not be forgotten.
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POSTED ON 6.24.2011
POSTED BY: Ava Motsinger

Still Remembered...Still Loved

My dear Jim,
The night you asked me to be your wife was and is still very clear in my memory. When I said 'yes', you howled so loud they could have heard it in the next county!

Though we never got to say our vows in front of a minister, with our family present, we did say them to each other before you left for Viet Nam. It wasn't legal in the eyes of the state, but it was standing before God and His belssing is all that we wanted.

I often wonder what our lives would have been like had you come home to me.

But that was not meant to be...you were meant to be the hero that you are. Being a soldier is all you wanted to be and you did it well my love.

I carry you in my heart always and visit with you in my dreams.

Ava
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