DERRI SYKES
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HONORED ON PANEL 34E, LINE 11 OF THE WALL

DERRI SYKES

WALL NAME

DERRI SYKES

PANEL / LINE

34E/11

DATE OF BIRTH

07/04/1947

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TIN

DATE OF CASUALTY

01/09/1968

HOME OF RECORD

CHICAGO

COUNTY OF RECORD

Cook County

STATE

IL

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SSGT

STATUS

MIA

ASSOCIATED ITEMS LEFT AT THE WALL

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR DERRI SYKES
POSTED ON 7.3.2021
POSTED BY: Donna Moore

Happy Heavenly Birthday

You will forever remain in our hearts and prayers
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POSTED ON 7.1.2020
POSTED BY: ANON

Never forgotten

SSGT Derri Sykes is memorialized at the Court of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, HI.

Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

HOOAH
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POSTED ON 7.4.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Staff Sergeant Derri Sykes, Served with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division.
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POSTED ON 10.7.2014

Final Mission of PFC Derri Sykes

On January 8, 1968, PFC Richard R. Rehe, PFC Derri Sykes, PFC James A. Daly and CPL Willie A. Watkins, members of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade (Americal) were ordered to move down to Happy Valley in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam. "Charlie" and "Delta" Companies had been sustaining heavy losses in previous days. PFC David N. Harker, James H. Strickland, FSGT Richard F. Williams, SGT Thomas A. Booker, PFC Francis E. Cannon and "Coglin" were part of Delta Company. During the fight, a mortar shell exploded near Cannon, the radioman, killing Sgt. Booker and "Coglin". Harker, a rifleman, was stabbed in the side with a bayonet. Strickland, a rifleman, was not seriously wounded. Cannon had a large hole in his upper back and a smaller hole near his neck. The Company's first sergeant, "Top" Williams, was shot through the right hand and injured an arm. Harker, Strickland, Williams and Cannon were captured that day. The next day, under heavy attack, Daly, Rhe, Watkins and Sykes were injured and captured. Sykes, a rifleman, was hit 3 times as he and Watkins had jumped for cover just when a grenade hit. Watkins was captured immediately, but thought that Sykes was left behind, as the enemy rushed him (Watkins) from the area. During his departure from the area, Watkins saw Daly, whom he thought dead, lying in a rice paddy. Daly then moved and drew attention to himself and was captured. Watkins later saw Sykes, bandaged and calling for water. Watkins and Daly carried him along the trail after their capture, but were ordered to leave him under a shed at a house on the trail on the first day. They never saw Derri Sykes again. Watkins said that Richard Rehe, a grenadier, had also been taken prisoner that day, but died in captivity from wounds sustained in the battle. Daly stated that both Rehe and Sykes had been captured but had died the same day. Cannon, Williams, Harker, Strickland, Watkins and Daly eventually were held together in prison camps in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. Top Williams, a veteran of World War II, and a big grey haired man, was described as being a real professional. His injured hand became gangrenous, but he survived this injury. He was receiving treatment and still probing for bone splinters in his injured arm when he contracted dysentery and ultimately died, September 27, 1968. Death from malnutrition and dysentery is extremely unpleasant, and the victim suffers not only from the discomfort of dysentery, but also from severe edema, and many times from hallucinations. Williams' remains were returned in 1985, after 17 years. Frank Cannon, a handsome 6" tall man of 24 with deep set eyes, suffered from the wounds he received by the exploding mortar shell. These wounds became gangrenous, and although the wounds gradually improved by summer 1968, Cannon grew continually weaker. By August, Cannon weighed only 90 pounds and slipped into a coma. In early September 1968, Frank Cannon died. Seventeen years later, the Vietnamese returned his remains to his country. Willie Watkins, described as just over 6" tall, good-looking, lanky, very dark skin, penetrating eyes, wiry and hard as a rock remained one of the strongest prisoners and at times was a leader among his fellow POWs. According to some of them, he "always had a Bible and a machete". He was never sick. James H. Strickland, a rather short, blue-eyed, boyish looking man was known to be a hard worker and to be as strong as a bull. He was also pointed out by the Vietnamese as an example of a "progressive" prisoner, as was Willie Watkins. The two were released from Cambodia on November 5, 1969. James A. Daly, a conscientious objector, never felt he should have been in combat. He had been waiting for notice to leave Vietnam, following a lengthy process of appeal on the basis of his beliefs. Daly, a big man, "coffee and cream color" was only slightly wounded when he was captured. His sense of self-preservation ensured that he lost a minimum of weight. He joined the "Peace Committee" comprised of a number of other military men who opposed the war, and official charges were brought against him upon his 1973 release by fellow POW COL Theodore Guy. In the wake of the POW release, charges were officially dismissed. David Harker also felt some anti-war sentiments, but it was said that he slowly turned "reactionary" against the Vietnamese after he was moved to North Vietnam after three years in the jungle. Richard Rehe and Derri Sykes alone remain unaccounted for from the battle in Quang Tin Province. Although it seems certain that they are both dead, the Vietnamese deny any knowledge of them. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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POSTED ON 11.23.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SSGT Derri Sykes, 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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