JAMES ALAN NORRIS
on Mar. 11, 1950
From DES MOINES, IOWA
Casualty was on Aug 13, 1969
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
Panel 19W - - Line 33
James "Spanky" Norris served with the 3rd Battalion,
5th Marines, India Company. His name stands proudly alongside his fellow
Marines and Corpsmen on the India 3/5 Wall of
Fi, Our Friend,
Sgt. Curtis Eidson
India 3/5, 67-68
extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader
with Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine
Division in connection with combat operations against the
enemy in the Republic of Vietnam.
13 August 1969, while participating in a search and clear
operation in Quang Nam Province, Lance Corporal Norris sighted
four enemy soldiers in a camouflaged machine-gun emplacement.
instantly, he shot one of the enemy and simultaneously shouted
a warning to the Marines behind him to seek cover. Machine-gun
fire immediately erupted from the hostile position, knocking
Lance Corporal Norris to the ground and seriously wounding
him. Undaunted by the intense enemy fire concentrated upon
him, Lance Corporal Norris, despite his painful wounds,
managed to get to his feet and wound two more of the enemy
as he single-handed assaulted the enemy emplacement.
to the ground a second time by the hostile machine-gun fire,
he again regained his feet, advanced in the face of the
hostile fire and succeeded in accounting for still another
enemy casualty before he fell mortally wounded within ten
meters of the enemy position. His resolute and heroic actions
in drawing the hostile fire upon himself inspired his men
to such aggressive action that his Company proceeded to
attack and capture the enemy machine-gun position and account
for eight additional enemy casualties during the ensuing
his indomitable courage, inspiring valor, and unswerving
devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Norris upheld the highest
traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States
Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service
of his country.
You, My Brother, For Saving My Life
Norris was a great guy and an unselfish guy. He was always thinking
positive. He was always ready with a joke or just a smile, when things
were bad. He made us feel better just being around him. And when he
fell, it tore the heart out of us. There's not a day goes by that I
don't think of him. Especially the 13th day of august. As long as I
live, he will never be forgotten. Nor will his sacrifice.
He was carrying a 12-gauge shotgun and a LAWS anti-personnel rocket
launcher. He fired 8 rounds with his shotgun killing 3 NVA soldiers,
and got his LAWS half way open before he died. And the gun he attacked
was a 12.7 88 millimeter anti-aircraft gun. We were attached to 1/7
that day. But it was 1st Plt I 3/5 that was ambushed. And 1/7's CO was
with us when he was killed. We were in the heaviest of the fighting
that day, 5 men were KIA and 33 were wounded including myself and Dennis
The battle lasted
7 hours. It took 4 hours before the wounded could get medical attention
and be medivaced out. One man, Cpl. James Caster died because of the
long wait. Dennis and myself are very lucky to have survived, given
the nature of our wounds. It was a very bad day. And I think if it had
not been for Jim "Spanky" Norris' heroism that day I would
have been killed too. And many, many more.
So in closing I
would like to say, Thank you my brother for saving my life. I will always
carry you in my heart each and every day. And you will never be forgotten.
May you rest in peace.
Sgt. Jimmie L. Christy
Killed In Action 13 August 1969
Cpl. James William Castor
KIA 13 August 1969
Sgt. John Ben Valdez
KIA 13 August 1969
James William Davis
KIA 13 August 1969
"Spanky" Norris Family was honored during Saturday presentations
with a shadowbox of his medals presented by Gen. Ray Davis and Sgt.
I/3/5 Marines of
1st plt. with Norris Family; Dennis Tenety, Ed Mason, Kathy Norris,
Paul Smith, Mrs. Wilma Norris, Jimmie Christy, and Roger McCann. The
Norris Family also received a plaque with a newspaper clipping from
Roger McCann telling of Spanky's heroic action on the 13th of Aug. 1969.