William Donald Jinks

United States Marine Corps
16 July 1945 - 19 May 1967
Bay City, Texas
Panel 20E Line 045


William D Jinks

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Donald Jinks

Bill Jinks Dies In Vietnam
The Daily Tribune
Monday, May 22, 1967
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Marine Lance Corporal William Donald "Bill" Jinks, 21, of Bay City, son of Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Jinks, was killed Friday in Vietnam action.

A member of an artillery unit firing at enemy positions, Jinks was fatally struck by a mortar round launched by North Vietnamese trying to knock out the big U.S. guns.

Rev. Jinks, now minister of Central Baptist Church in Lamoni, Iowa, notified Bill's uncle, Don Bell of Bay City by phone Sunday afternoon of the tragedy. Mrs. Jinks is the former Irene Bell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bell of Bay City.

Bill, although having lived in Canada, Alabama, Florida and Washington during his life, called Bay City home because of his grandparents and many aunts and uncles residing here. He joined the marines while living here Feb. 28, 1966 and had been in Vietnam since Sept. 9, 1966.

The young Marine was still a member of Calvary Baptist Church and the funeral will be held in the church here when his body is returned from Vietnam.

In his last letter from Viet Nam--to his brother, Kenneth W. Jinks of Bay City--Bill, writing by candlelight as mortar shells flew over his head said, "I'm doing what I want to do and feel I should be doing; there are a lot of guys over here taking a bigger risk than I am..."

Members of his immediate family surviving in addition to Ken are two other brothers, Claude E. Jinks of Kansas City and Rev. Charles P. Jinks of Port Hueneme, Calif., and a sister, Mrs. Keith (Nancy) Becker of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Bill was a graduate of Chelan High School in Chelan, Washington, and attended college in Oakland, California, and Kansas City prior to the family's moving to this area. The young man then attended Houston Baptist College.

Jinks had received a promotion to Lance Corporal only last month for his outstanding record in the Corps.

Memorial Will Honor Former BC Resident Killed in Viet War
The Daily Tribune
March 25, 1968
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

The Student Senate at Houston Baptist College is sponsoring a fund-raising drive to establish a memorial in its library for a former Bay City resident who was the first student from the college to die in the Vietnam War.

The memorial is for Bill Jinks, son of Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Jinks, who moved to Bay City in 1965 but now reside in Kansas City, Mo.

Bill transferred to HBC his junior year and would have been in the first graduating class, the class of '67, had he not chosen to join the U.S. Marines and fight in the Vietnam war, according to Mark C. Fowler, HBC Student Senate vice-president.

Fowler said that because Jinks was the first - and to the college's knowledge, the only - HBC student to die in the Vietnam war, and because the Student Senate wishes to commemorate his effort and the efforts of all U.S. servicemen in the war, they are seeking to raise enough money to establish a Bill Jinks Memorial Political Science Library. Jinks was a political science and Christianity major.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to this fund should make checks payable to "Houston Baptist College Student Senate, Bill Jinks Memorial, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX 77036."

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a member of the Matagorda County Historical Commission.
E-mail address is not available. 24 Nov 2001

Memorial Day 2003


We wrote to each other before we actually met in 1964 at Glorieta Baptist Seminary near Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were two young college students among many. We had such a good time that summer.

We continued to write and you came to visit me from Texas. You asked if I could spend the last weekend with you, your brother and his family in Southern California. We had a fun-filled weekend visiting the theme parks, the ocean, and just being a young, healthy, vital group of innocent younsters. It was the last time any of us saw you.

I think of you often; especially each and every Memorial Day. I miss you, and even though I have lost contact with your siblings and your parents, I know they miss you.

You were a good man, and a dynamic individual that everyone liked and respected. My heart and prayers are with you today, and always.

Connie (Long) Phelps

10 Dec 2006

I was at Gio Linh with LCpl Jinks for only a short while, however I was immediately impressed by him. He was brought there by Major Al Grey, who later went on to be the Commandant. I could see why he wanted him, because he was one fine Marine. He impressed us all with his enthusiasm, energy and courage in face of some really bad stuff. I feel honored to have known him.

From a fellow Marine,
Jim Jerrell
First Sergeant, USMC (Ret)

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a member of the Matagorda County Historical Commission.
E-mail address is not available.

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index J
TX State Index . Panel 20E

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Nov 2001
Last updated 11/13/2010