US Marine Corps League

Email: MCL@MarinesRockNC.org                    Phone (507) 407-0625

The Rockingham County US Marine Corps League Pfc Jerry L McKinney Detachment 1232

was founded in honor and remembrance of of the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country

rendered by our own Eden native:

 

               PFC JERRY L. MCKINNEY

                       Age:         20

City, State, Country:         Eden, NC - US

          Incident Date:         April 8, 1967

     Incident Country:         South Veitnam
                   Status:         KILLED IN ACTION
          Wall Number:         P-17E / L-126

US Marine Private First Class Jerry Layne McKinney was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Marine Corps, Pfc McKinney served our country until April 8th, 1967 in Quang Nam, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was not married. It was reported that Jerry died from artillery fire. His body was recovered. Jerry was born, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry T McKinney, on February 9th, 1947 in Eden (formerly known as Leaksville), North Carolina.  Jerry was a typical young boy.  He loved being outside playing football, baseball and playing with his dogs.  One of his favorite activities was fishing.  Although his family and friends soon learned that going fishing with Jerry could become a problem because Jerry would always say, "Can we stay just a little longer".  As Jerry grew older he explored other activities.  He learned to play the drums.  He developed into a very good drummer, which increased his popularity at Morehead High School.  Jerry graduated High School in the spring of 1965.  After graduation, Jerry decided to follow the footsteps of his older brother Harry and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.


Jerry attended recruit training at Parris Island, SC then reported to ITR training at Camp Geiger, NC.  He spent some time with MAD NATTC at Jacksonville, FL where he received training in basic electronics.  Jerry received his orders to Camp LeJeune, NC where he was assigned to 6th Marines, 2nd Division.  In October 1966, Jerry received orders to the RVN and was assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Division, 3rd MAF.  He served as a radioman with Fox Company until he was killed in action while on patrol, April 8th 1967.  Jerry was a PFC at the time of his death.


Pfc McKinney is buried at Ridgeview Memorial Gardens in Eden NC and memorialized on panel 17E, line 126 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for one year.

He was awarded The Combat Action Ribbon(CAR), The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal.


Eight men from Fox Company, 2/4 Marines, were killed in action on 08 April 1967:
    LCpl Lawrence R. Hagedorn, Carroll, IA
    LCpl Howard L. Leroy, Vancouver, WA
    LCpl Francisco A. Montano, Tucson, AZ
    Pfc Charles M. McKinney, Bristol, TN
    Pfc Jerry L. McKinney, Leaksville, NC
    Pfc James A. Popp, Hemlock, MI (Navy Cross)
    Pfc Jeffrey A. Schweikl, Enumclaw, WA
    Pvt Don C. Benfield, Macon, GA

The following excerpt from Pfc James Popp's Navy Cross explains the situation:

"Private First Class Popp's squad was conducting a squad-size patrol against the Viet Cong forces in Quang Nam Province. While moving along a trail in search of the enemy, the squad was suddenly taken under a murderous volume of small-arms, hand grenade and 40 millimeter grenade fire. The heavy volume of fire rained in from three sides, ..."

The Marines of Detachment 1232 are proud to honor the memory of this young man and his dedication and service to our country.  We thank his family for allowing us to name our detachment in his memory.