JAMES W CLAY
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HONORED ON PANEL 23W, LINE 14 OF THE WALL

JAMES WILFORD CLAY

WALL NAME

JAMES W CLAY

PANEL / LINE

23W/14

DATE OF BIRTH

07/17/1949

CASUALTY PROVINCE

BINH DUONG

DATE OF CASUALTY

05/29/1969

HOME OF RECORD

WATERFORD

COUNTY OF RECORD

Oakland County

STATE

MI

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

PFC

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JAMES WILFORD CLAY
POSTED ON 1.14.2022
POSTED BY: John Fabris

honoring you...

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.
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POSTED ON 11.30.2018

Final Mission of PFC James W. Clay

On the evening of May 29-30, 1969, a squad-sized element of the 3rd Brigade, U.S. 82nd Airborne Division was conducting an ambush patrol when they were attacked shortly after midnight by an unknown size enemy force with rocket-propelled grenades, small arms fire, and hand grenades. Seven Americans were killed in the assault. An eighth trooper died after he managed to make his way away from the action but wandered into an ambush site established by another U.S. Army patrol. The lost personnel, all from B Company, 2/505th Infantry, were PFC James W. Clay, PFC Cris Holliday, PFC Herman L. Judy Jr., 1LT Richard L. Patterson, PFC Joe Rodriguez, and PFC Robert J. Rosenow; the friendly-fire victim was PFC Harry Massey. An article from Pacific Stars & Stripes dated June 8, 1969, reported on U.S. military denials of the “assassination” of the eight B/2-505th soldiers after a U.S. television network broadcast that the enemy came upon the American ambush patrol as they slept and that no one came to their aid. According to the military, another patrol from the same company heard the firing from 1,800 feet away and came to assist. Furthermore, the military insisted that there was “no indication that any personnel were killed by a bullet to the back of the head.” Military officials said they pieced together their account of the incident after interviewing three survivors of the patrol. Four of the troopers, Holliday, Judy, Rodriguez, and Rosenow, were posthumously promoted to Corporal. For members of B Company who served with those from the lost squad, they had their own ideas of what happened. On the morning before the ill-fated patrol went out, one of their senior squad leaders was sent to the rear to have two teeth extracted. He returned to the firebase in significant pain and bleeding gums. His Platoon leader, a Lieutenant, told him he would stay in that night while his squad, call sign Tiger, was sent out on ambush. Insisting on going out with his squad, the Lieutenant ordered him to stay behind. The squad leader remained on the perimeter of the base while Tiger set up about a half-mile out. What he feared occurred is that they set up in daylight but failed to move to a different location after dark as was standard procedure since the enemy is always watching. He believes the Lieutenant, who had only been in country a short time and was with Tiger on ambush, made the fatal mistake of remaining in place. Three senior members of the squad probably didn’t challenge him because he was the Platoon leader. At about midnight, gunfire and explosions were heard, and the white tracers of the enemy could be seen from the firebase as Tiger was attacked from three sides by a probable North Vietnamese Army sapper team. A small reaction force from the base went out immediately to assist, but it was too late. To this day, Tiger’s senior squad leader still carries guilt that he was not with his men that night. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and “Military Denies TV Report Of Assassination of 8 GIs.” Pacific Stars & Stripes, June 8, 1969; also from information provided by Jim Maskell (November 2018)]
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POSTED ON 4.16.2018
POSTED BY: PKLIFORD

FRIENDSHIP

Jim you are always in my thoughts and what a good friend you were during our High School days. Miss that great smile of yours. Paula
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POSTED ON 12.8.2017
POSTED BY: LUCY CONTE MICIK

THANK YOU

Dear PFC James Clay,
Thank you for your service as an Infantryman. December has begun, along with all the preparations. It is so important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 4.25.2016
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear PFC James Wilford Clay, 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, Sir

Curt Carter
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