LCPL James Thomas Williams

Our Hometown Heroes

James Thomas Williams

Killed in Two Day Firefight with North Vietnamese

Lance Corporal James Thomas Williams was Killed in Action after a long, horrific two-day firefight with the North Vietnamese Army.

Born on April 24, 1946, to Henry Vernon (died 1982) and Flora Goddard Williams (died 1991), the young man grew up in Fairburn, GA. He was drafted by the US Marine Corps on January 25, 1966. Assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd MARDIV (Rein) FMF, Williams was sent to fight in Vietnam.

During the beginning of May, 1967, the 1st Battalion was participating in Operation PRAIRIE IV in northern Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. A search and destroy operation was launched by two rifle companies with supporting units north of Cam Lo.

On May 13 Company A encountered elements of reinforced North Vietnamese Army soldiers just north of the hamlet of Phu-An, southeast of Con Tien. The enemy soldiers were well entrenched in their fortified positions. On May 14, 1967, the US Marines became engaged with additional reinforcements of the enemy in a battle that lasted for two and a half days.

During the non-stop fire fights eleven men from the unit were killed in action. One of the casualties was LCpl James Thomas Williams. Williams sustained a mortal gunshot wound from enemy sniper fire.

Williams body was returned to his home in Fairburn. He is buried in the Holly Hill Memorial Park in Fairburn along with his mother and father.