William Elliott Gooden

United States Marine Corps
02 November 1948 - 12 June 1969
Hoopeston, Illinois
Panel 22W Line 032


William E Gooden

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Elliott Gooden

31 Oct 2001

Bill in Vietnam Bill in Vietnam

William Elliott Gooden was born November 2, 1948, in Danville, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in November 1967 on a three-month-delay program. On February 15, 1968, he began Recruit training at San Diego, CA, then Camp Pendleton, CA.

He arrived in Vietnam on July 30, 1968, where he served as a rifleman with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. He was first assigned to the Headquarters Company (Security and Sniper Platoons) and then to Echo Company where he was a Squad Leader (ALPHA Squad).

During his 15 months in the Corps he was advanced to Corporal.

He was killed in action on June 12, 1969, approximately 9 miles northwest of Cam Lo in Quang Tri Province.

A memorial from his parents,
Mary Helen and Willard Gooden
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

13 Mar 2006

Bill is my cousin, he was from the country and I from the big city. We were born less than 5 months apart. We played with real guns when we were very young out in the fields of Illinois. He grew into a man very fast and it took me 10 more years to catch up, on second thought I will never catch up. At the time of his death I was a peace activist, so I did not really know what he faced in his shortened life. As I have been so lucky to grow older, I think about him all the time. I wish that I could say thanks to him for what he gave up to defend our country and our way of life. I wish that we will roam the fields again some day.

From a cousin,
Tony Rinella

08 Jan 2007

It is with respect I pass this way and pay tribute to a Marine who knew some one that I once knew and was there when my friend died. I regret both their passings and those with whom they served who are listed among the pantheon.

Stewart Resmer

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 12 June 1969 the 2nd Bn, 3rd Marines were involved in Operation VIRGINIA RIDGE, a sweep along the DMZ in northern Quang Tri Province. The 3rd Marine Division's VIRGINIA RIDGE Situation Report Number 169 covering the period noon to 6 pm 12 Jun 69 contains the following entry:
"From 121155H to 1700H E/2/3 in sporadic contact with unknown enemy force vic YD051686 and YD058686. During contact unit received incoming mortar rounds. Unit deployed and attacked enemy position killing 8 and capturing 1 RPG launcher and 1 82mm [mortar] tube. During contact unit utilized artillery fire missions. Results: Friendly 2 KIA 4 WIA (medevac); enemy 8 NVA KIA and 2 CSWC."
The two men from Echo 2/3 who were killed in the action described above were Cpl William E. Gooden and Pfc Alfredo Ochoa of El Paso, Texas.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his parents,
Mary Helen and Willard Gooden
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 Oct 2001
Last updated 05/17/2007