Michael Douglas Gray

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
31 October 1948 - 06 March 1968
Temple, Texas
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Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael Douglas Gray

05 Nov 2003

I was on patrol on the 82 boat when I got a letter from my mom telling me that Michael had been killed in Vietnam. We didn't know each other well, you couldn't even call us friends. I even had a hard time remembering his face after reading his name. He was a year younger than me and we didn't run with the same people. When we got back to An Thoi I went through some old pictures and there he was standing in the background in front of the new high school. Looking at that picture of Michael and re-reading my mom's letter I saw the pain my mother must have had to write it.

When I got back to Temple I went to Michael's grave and a few others and I found that our small town had eight young men taken from us by the war. I had changed, the town had changed, and my friends had changed. Not one of my friends had enlisted or got drafted.

As I visit Temple from time to time I go by each grave site and say "thank you". I can not answer the question that has nagged me for more than thirty years, I don't know why I came back and they didn't. I do know you can love someone you have never met, and a friendship can grow even it the other person is gone. Michael and I are good friends now and I still have his picture and I am honored to have known them all.

Walter Weddell
EN3 US Navy
PCF 82 Boat

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 06 March 1968 a C-123 from the 311th ACS crashed after being hit by enemy fire while making a troop lift into the Khe Sanh combat base. PFC Michael D. Gray was one of the men aboard the aircraft. A description of the incident and the names of those who died in the crash can be found on The Virtual Wall's

C-123 Down Memorial

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and comrade,
Walter W. Weddell

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 6 Nov 2003
Last updated 07/10/2006