Jerry Lee Branson

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
02 September 1946 - 19 September 1966
Owensville, Missouri
Panel 10E Line 116



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Jerry Lee Branson

08 Feb 1998

I was seven years old
when my Uncle died.
He gave his life
for you and me.

Now and forever
I hope we will be free.
Our daughters, our sons
all of our loved ones.

We do not need any more grief
than we have already endured.
For we cannot lose any more
than we have already lost!

When my Uncle Jerry was in Vietnam he wrote letters to my Mother. In one letter he wrote that he had gotten real close to a small Vietnamese girl who reminded him of me. The laugh and the smile. My Uncle had a big heart!

He had one for me, one for you, and one for that little girl who he knew he would never see again! I do remember that my Uncle Jerry had a collection of model airplanes. I also remember the week or two before he was killed. He came home on leave and we had a family gathering. He would not say Good-bye to anyone. He just started giving his things away, and as we were all leaving, he just sat in his car. He did not look at anyone. He just sat there.

I thought he did not love me, but to find out later he did.
More than I was to ever know.
He is my Hero just as eveyone else is who died for me and for you.


If you knew my Uncle Jerry, please contact me.

Vickie Schoening

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 19 Sep 1966 the 1st Platoon of Hotel 2/1 Marines was conducting a patrol near Tay Cau Nhi village on the north bank of the Thu Ban River sbout 10 kilometers west-northwest of Hoi An. At 11 AM, there was a brief exchange of fire with a sniper, resulting in one Marine killed by gunshot. After the medevac was cmpleted, the patrol continued.

At 12:30 the Marines had passed through a graveyard when about 15 enemy troops arose from positions among the tombs and took the trailing squad under fire. The Platoon Commander reversed his leading squads to assist the Marines in contact, but another 10 or 12 enemy troops appeared in another part of the graveyard. At this point, the Hotel Company commander committed his 2nd Platoon, supported by three amphibious tractors and two ONTOS 75mm recoilless rifle carriers. The enemy responded by committing several dozen more troops and a general melee resulted.

When the shooting stopped, four Marines were dead and one was wounded. There were three VC bodies in the graveyard and signs that ten more had been dragged away. The Marine dead were

  • Pfc Jerry L. Branson, Owensville, MO;
  • Pfc Jose Martinez-Soto, San Sebastian, PR;
  • Pfc Jerome D. McArthur, Baltimore, MD; and
  • Pfc Johnny E. Williams, Charleston, SC.
Pfc Branson and Pfc Martinez-Soto died by gunshot wounds, so one of the two was killed in the earlier exchange of fires. The other three men died in the graveyard, one by gunshot and two by grenades.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his niece,
Vickie Schoening

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MO State Index . Panel 10E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Feb 1998
Last updated 05/07/2007