Gary Dean Nail

United States Marine Corps
17 August 1945 - 03 April 1966
Salina, Kansas
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Gary Nail

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gary Dean Nail

24 May 2001

Gary and I grew up together in Salina, Kansas. His sister Kathleen was a classmate in the class of 1962 from Salina High School. Gary was a year younger. Kathleen and Gary lived next to my cousin in Salina and we used to play together.

I had lost track of Gary after graduation and did not know he had been killed in Vietnam until I visited the Salina War Veterans memorial and saw his name. Gary was tough when he was little and I am positive he was an outstanding Marine. Gary made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and as it says on the Korean War Veterans Memorial,

"Freedom Is Not Free"

Michael J Munson
23 Dec 2006

Gary was a close friend of our family. When he came home on leave from Marine Corps Boot Camp, he encouraged me to visit our local Marine Recruiter. Later that summer of 1964, I too joined the US Marine Corps - and eventually, my two younger brothers joined. I maintain a Remembrance Profile for Gary on the Marine website Gary is not forgotten.

From a close friend and Marine brother,
Sgt Alan Deegan, USMC Veteran

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 02 April 1966 B Company, 1/3rd Marines, lost twelve men in heavy fighting at Ngoc Kinh (2), near An Dien in Quang Nam Province:
  • SSgt Thurman W. Owen, Wichita Falls, TX
  • Sgt Donald R. Burton, Coatesville, PA
  • Cpl Dale L. Courchane, Wenatchee, WA
  • Cpl Julian C. Cuellar, San Antonio, TX
  • LCpl Paul A. Haines, Canton, OH
  • LCpl Alexander Menzies, Walworth, NY (Silver Star)
  • LCpl Daniel J. Piotrowski, Jackson, MI (Silver Star)
  • LCpl David G. Russell, Salem, OR
  • LCpl Ralph M. Williams, Chicago, IL
  • Pfc Weldon D. Moss, Ethete, WY
  • Pfc Feliberto Villa, Ingleside, TX
  • Pfc Richard H. Wright, Halstead, KS
Medevac and resupply helicopters were faced with heavy automatic weapons fire, one being hit badly enough so the crew was forced to abandon their aircraft in the landing zone. At 0355 [3:55 am] on the morning of 03 April the abandoned helo exploded and burned, wounding two Marines and killing a third: Cpl Gary D. Nail of Salina, Kansas.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 May 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009