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Born on Mar. 11, 1950
Casualty was on Aug 13, 1969

Panel 19W - - Line 33

James A. Norris

LCpl. 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 Honor.

Semper Fi, Our Friend,
Sgt. Curtis Eidson
India 3/5, 67-68



For 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.

On 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.

Reacting 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. 

Struck 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 fight.

By 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.

Thank You, My Brother, For Saving My Life

Jim "Spanky" 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 Tenety. 

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.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Jimmie L. Christy
I /3/5

Also Killed In Action 13 August 1969

Cpl. James William Castor
India 3/5
KIA 13 August 1969

Sgt. John Ben Valdez
India 3/5
KIA 13 August 1969

Pfc. James William Davis
India 3/5
KIA 13 August 1969

3/5 Reunion 2002
LaGrange, Georgia

James "Spanky" Norris Family was honored during Saturday presentations with a shadowbox of his medals presented by Gen. Ray Davis and Sgt. Maj. Wright.

(click to enlarge)

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.

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