Otis Leslie Norris, Jr

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
16 April 1946 - 18 October 1968
Champaign, Illinois
Panel 40W Line 001

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star (2 awards), Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Gallantry Cross, RVN Campaign

The database page for Otis Leslie Norris, Jr

27 Nov 2003

SSG Otis Norris, Jr. was assigned to the Alpha Company, 1/16th Infantry, at Lai Khe, Vietnam on 20 August 1968. He was reassigned along with our entire Battalion to the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta area as 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry, headquartered at Rach Kein, Vietnam. Otis was truly an outstanding NCO and demonstrated his valuable leadership skills soon after arriving "In Country". He was a very quick learner and could react to unusual and challenging situations immediately. SSG Norris was highly respected by all who knew him, especially by his own men. Otis was assigned to 2nd Platoon and I was assigned to 1st Platoon, but we shared leadership ideas and comments with each other. Otis had a very positive outlook on all things and always led by example.

That tragic 18 October 1968 day, when our company, being led by 2nd Platoon, was ambushed while attempting to rescue a downed helicopter crew still haunts me even today. SSG Norris, along with others, was lost in that firefight. He was a true, dedicated leader up to the very end of his precious life. The bravery of SSG Norris and his men that day will be remembered by their "NAM BROTHERS FOREVER".

From one who proudly served with Otis in Vietnam,
Barney Tharp
3240 Sam Browning Road, Lebanon, Kentucky

8 Jan 2005

He was my brother. I still miss him after 36 years. It helps to know that someone he served with still remembers him so fondly, too.

From his brother,
John W. Norris

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry, arrived in Vietnam in October 1965 as a unit of the 1st Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade. As noted above, in the summer of 1968 it was decided to reorganize the battalion as mechanized infantry. In September 1968 the 5th Bn, 60th Infantry, was reorganized as dismounted divisional infantry and its mechanized assets were transfered to 1/16th Infantry in October 1968.

Alpha Company, 1/16th Infantry, lost three men on 18 October 1968:

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009