Henry Ballew, Jr

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
09 August 1950 - 27 July 1969
Atlanta, Georgia
Panel 20W Line 053

Silver Star

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Henry Ballew

The database page for Henry Ballew, Jr

25 Apr 2004

I went to High School with Henry. He was a friendly, gentle, fun-loving boy. We played sports together and he was a very good football player. I lost touch with him when he joined the Marines. I remember going to see his mother after he was killed. I have never forgotten and never will. Note that Henry was 18 when he died. 18 years old. Why do we send such young men to war?

Semper Fi, Henry. I'll see you again someday.

Miles McCart

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following


"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Squad Leader with Company A, First Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 27 July 1969, during Operation Idaho Canyon, Company A was conducting a patrol approximately seven miles northwest of Cam Lo in Quang Tri Province. As Lance Corporal Ballew's squad was crossing a stream, the Marines came under intense hostile automatic weapons fire. Reacting instantly, he fired at the enemy and killed one of the hostile soldiers. Realizing the danger to several of his men who were still in the water, Lance Corporal Ballew unhesitatingly rushed up the stream toward the enemy firing his weapon and simultaneously directing the actions of his men. Fearlessly providing protective fire to cover the movement of squad members, Lance Corporal Ballew continued his selfless actions in the face of intense enemy fire until he was mortally wounded. His heroic actions inspired all who observed him and enabled his companions to move out of the stream and defeat the enemy force. By his courage, bold initiative and steadfast devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Ballew 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."


/s/ H. W. Buse, Jr.


15 Nov 2004

Henry and I and David Seay joined the Marines together on the "Buddy" plan.
David and I survived, but Henry, probably the best of us, did not.

I remember Henry as a fun and courageous friend. We shared many happy times. Gone but never forgotten.
Semper Fi

From a friend,
Chip Huff

10 Dec 2004

I found a copy of Henry's obituary from the Atlanta Journal Constitution in an old scrapbook. If anyone knows any of the surviving family please show them this site and invite their input. It reads as follows:

Cpl. Ballew's Rites Friday;
War Victim

Funeral for Lance Cpl. Henry Ballew Jr, 18, of Atlanta will be held at 10am Friday at Carmichael's chapel. Burial will be in Marietta National Cemetery with full Military honors.

Cpl. Ballew, who entered the Marines in October 1967, was killed in action July 27 in Vietnam. He was scheduled to return from Vietnam within one week. He attended Bass High School and lived at 757 Yale Place SW.

Surviving are the widow, a son, Henry Ballew III, and parents, Mr and Mrs Henry Ballew Sr., all of Atlanta; sisters, Mrs Robert H Thomas of Lilburn, Mrs Carlton L. Nation of Chamblee and June Ballew of Conyers, and a brother, Edward Tippins of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution


From a friend,
Chip Huff

16 Nov 2004

I went to to Moreland Elementary with Henry and also Bass. I too have thought of Henry often over the years and have visited the Wall and found his name. I watch Vietnam movies and think of him.

And I think partially because of him I became opposed to the War. I went to college rather than the Marines.

I also remember that in ROTC at Bass 11th grade year, I was a Second Lieutenant and Henry was in my platoon. And he was a pain in the butt. He didn't seem to like ROTC and the drilling, few people did. It was hard telling my friends and schoolmates what to do, and it showed me how hard it would be to have people telling me what to do in the military. That is what was so amazing that a group of guys dropped out of school in 1968 to join. Henry was one of them. They hated ROTC. I later applied as a Concientious Objector, I hated the war and guys like Henry dying.

I can remember Henry at both Moreland and Bass, and the thing I remember most is his smile. He had a good smile. I also remember playing football with him and that he was always in good shape and seemed to take easily to athletics, where I had to work at it. He also hung out with David Seay. They were buds from as early as I can remember. This is one time I did really get mad at Henry and it's a strange memory, but it also shows how I couldn't stay mad at him. It was summer football practice and he wore my new shorts out to practice without asking me. When they came back they looked like they had been through a war. I was pissed at him, but he laughed and I forgave him.

It's been a long time, and this new war has reminded me of him, and it reminds me of the guys dying. I don't like war, I don't like individuals like Henry getting killed and I think about their moms and famlies. But I do respect them. I respect Henry and his choice and that he went our and did what he thought was right. Wars are fought by the young, because it's to hard to get an adult to risk their lives. Henry was a WARRIOR.

From a friend,
Steve Peace

Henry is on the middle row far right.

24 Nov 2004

Henry is on the right.

I was with Henry in Vietnam in 1969 with Alpha 1/3/3, USMC. We were in the same squad together. I was wounded in May of that year and didn't find out about Henry until many years after. All I have now is some memories and a few pictures of us in Vietnam. I've been trying to get in touch with relatives of his but have had no luck. Thanks to this site I've finally found someone who knew Henry. If you have any pics of him I'd appreciate a few and I'll return the favor if you'd like.

Rest in peace, my brother. You will never be forgotten.

Semper Fi.

Joe Lichniak USMC
I Corps, Vietnam 1969

30 Jan 2005

In memory of a friend, classmate and Marine brother.

Henry and I played sports together at Bass High School. He was very athletic and had a friendly smile. Henry gave the supreme sacrifice for his country. He left behind a family, friends and Marine brothers.

You will not be forgotten, my brother.


From a friend,
Daniel Overby
Cpl, USMC 1969-1971

07 Jul 2007

"Hats off" to a great guy and friend. Most men wouldn't do what he did, in a war we should not have been in. I went to Bass High with Henry and he was a great friend to me. I'll miss him so.

Rose Cheek Clark
3100 Liberty Church Road, Monticello, Ga. 31064

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Bn, 3rd Marines' command chronology for July 1969 contains the following narrative regarding the events of 27 July:

Lance Corporal Ballew received the Silver Star, America's third highest award for valor in combat, for the actions which led to his death.

Henry Ballew, Junior,
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps,
was buried in Plot 129, Section R,
Marietta National Cemetery,
Marietta, Georgia,
among other men of courage and integrity.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Miles McCart

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Apr 2004
Last updated 02/01/2008