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James F. Jr. Perry - Vietnam War

James F. Perry Jr. is the son of a Korean War veteran (see his father's interview in the Korean War collection) who grew up as an army brat at military bases in Germany and throughout the United States. In 1966 a judge in Iowa strongly suggested that he should join the army. Perry scored well on tests he took in Basic Training, and he then attended the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. He arrived in South Vietnam in September, 1968, and served his entire one year tour as a platoon leader for a searchlight platoon, which had sections deployed throughout the III Corp area of South Vietnam. Perry also shares his experiences with readjusting to civilian life after his return to the states.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

"Why I joined the army"

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Childhood as the son of an army officer and initial training

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Service in S. Vietnam in 1968-69 and readjustment once home

Transcript


Photos

Caption

Marie Wagner, Jim’s mother, at the time of her marriage to James Perry, Sr. in 1945. She worked for the American Consulate General in Frankfurt immediately after the war.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1945

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Major Perry, Sr., Jim’s father, while stationed in Madison, Wisconsin, when he worked as an advisor to both U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers.

Where:

Madison, Wisconsin

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Officer Candidate Perry successfully completed a punishment tour earned while in OCS at Ft. Sill, OK in April, 1967. His OCS platoon carried the rock Perry holds back from a road march. Their Tactical Officer had to sleep with it, an OCS tradition.

Where:

Ft. Sill, Oklahoma

When:

April, 1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Officer Candidate James Perry Jr. shortly after completing a 15 km map course/survival, escape, and evasion exercise in July, 1967 while in OCS at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. A member of 2nd Platoon of OCS Class 36B-67, Perry is in the platoon barracks.

Where:

Ft. Sill, Oklahoma

When:

July, 1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This photo of 1LT James Perry was taken in October, 1968, early in his tour in South Vietnam. He is holding a captured enemy rifle taken from a Viet Cong during Tet of 1968. He is standing in front of I Battery, 29th FA’s headquarters building.

Where:

Duster Compound near Long Binh, South Vietnam

When:

October, 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

First Lieutenant James Perry, Jr. awaits take-off for a resupply run in October, 1968 from the base at Song Be, South Vietnam. Their destination that day was an artillery base near Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

October, 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

1LT James Perry stands next to Sergeant Moore, one of his best section leaders who was in charge of two jeep-mounted infrared searchlights. They were on a duster compound near Long Binh, South Vietnam circa Oct/Nov, 1968.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

October/November, 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

1LT Perry enjoys some down time in front of his hooch in November, 1968, after returning from a forward base known as Old French Fort. The officers were placing sand bags around their hooch for protection against enemy mortar fire.

Where:

Duster Compound near Long Binh, South Vietnam

When:

November, 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This jeep-mounted searchlight was destroyed by RPG fire at Fire Support Base St. Barbara in August, 1969. The jeep was then airlifted to Duster Compound. One of Perry’s soldiers was killed and one seriously wounded during the nighttime ground attack.

Where:

Duster Compound near Long Bihn, South Vietnam

When:

August, 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The members of the 5th Battalion, 2nd Artillery gather for a memorial service for the soldier killed during the attack on Fire Support Base St. Barbara. The ceremony was held on Duster Compound near Long Bihn, Republic of Vietnam in August 1969.

Where:

Duster Compound near Long Bihn, Republic of Vietnam

When:

August 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Four generations of Perrys gathered for this summer 2000 photo at James Perry Jr.’s home in Port Byron, Illinois. From left to right are his grandson Tony Perry, his father James Perry Sr., daughter Cheryl Perry and Jim, Jr.

Where:

Port Byron, Illinois

When:

Summer 2000

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

James Perry, Jr. and James Perry Senior, taken in the summer of 2004 in Port Byron, Illinois. The two were celebrating Jim senior’s 83rd birthday. Olive, the family’s English cocker, joined them.

Where:

Port Byron, Illinois

When:

Summer 2004

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo



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