Earl Leroy Lewis

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
14 August 1949 - 27 December 1967
Odessa, Texas
Panel 32E Line 077



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Earl L Lewis

The database page for Earl Leroy Lewis

27 Jan 2004

Earl was from the oil-field town of Odessa, Texas. I knew him casually when I was a senior at Odessa High School and he was an underclassman. I remember that he always had a smile, a mousy kind of smile that made you wonder what he was up to.

Earl was born in Alturas, California but had lived in Odessa since he was two years old. Earl was killed December 27, 1967. I was home on Christmas leave from the U.S. Army at the time. I read about it in the newspaper with great sadness. Two months later I was in Vietnam.

Unlike Earl, I came home from Vietnam and unlike Earl I completed my education, had a family and a career. I have no tears left from my youth for the young men from Odessa, Texas who perished in Vietnam. However, I can help to provide for them a legacy.

Earl is buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa. Very near to him are the resting places of many of Odessa's other casualties of the Vietnam War.

Earl is remembered by his classmates from Odessa High School, Class of 68, and on the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

A Note from The Virtual Wall

When Battalion Landing Team 3/1, built around the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, landed at Than Tham Khe during Operation Badgertooth they ran into a buzz-saw. At day's end on 27 Dec 1967, BLT 3/1 had lost 49 men, most of them from Lima Company:
  • H&S Company: 3 men
  • K Company: 6 men
  • L Company: 26 men
    • Capt Thomas S. Hubbell, Milford, MI
    • 2ndLt George M. Broz, Stanwood, WA
    • SSgt Donald J. Cruden, Bayonne, NJ
    • Sgt Norman W. Clearwater, Catskill, NY
    • Cpl Albert L. Horner, Kenton, OH
    • LCpl Carl E. Abner, Campbell, CA
    • LCpl Ronald P. Allen, Winona, MN
    • LCpl Lawrence M. Barnes, Jersey City, NJ
    • LCpl Kenneth L. Chappell, Richmond, VA
    • LCpl Robert E. Hentschel, Rochester, NY
    • LCpl Donald C. Hopewell, Lakeland, FL
    • LCpl Mitchell Hughes, Louisville, KY
    • LCpl Harvey L. Rembert, Enid, OK
    • LCpl James E. Williams, Oklahoma City, OK
    • Pfc Bruce C. Alfred, Moultrie, GA
    • Pfc Garry L. Gabriel, Boise, ID
    • Pfc Earl L. Lewis, Odessa, TX
    • Pfc Vernon R. Lipinski, Baltimore, MD
    • Pfc George E. Lonsdale, Hartford, CT
    • Pfc Carlos F. Lozano, Detroit, MI
    • Pfc Gary W. Martell, Olmsted Falls, OH
    • Pfc Raymond B. Palma, Pacoima, CA
    • Pfc Arphalia L. Richardson, Melbourne, FL
    • Pfc Darnay Shubert, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pfc Stephen Williams, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pvt William J. Brown, Baltimore, MD
  • M Company: 12 men
  • A Company, 1st Engineers: 1 man
  • B Company, 1st Recon Bn: 1 man
The final known casualty from Than Tham Khe was Corporal David O. Kamp, Lima 3/1, rendered a quadraplegic by small arms fire; he died on 19 March 1997 of complications from his injuries.

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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 Jan 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009