Thomas Wilson Pusser

Army of the United States
22 April 1939 - 22 October 1965
Chesterfield, South Carolina
Panel 02E Line 131


Silver Star

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Army Commendation, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Wilson Pusser

22 Aug 2000


by his godson,
Chris Coates
02 Aug 2006

Thomas and I are first cousins; our fathers were brothers. We were two years apart in High School. Thomas was never one of us. He was his own self-contained unit. Gifted, handsome, aloof - would be derisive but always self contained. I don't recall extraordinary attempts to distance himself from all of us.

Of all my cousins he's the most elusive - but then there's my other 1st cousin (mom's side) Tom Barringer.

What do you know?

From his cousin,
3918 N Lincoln, Westmont, Illinois 60559

04 Aug 2007

My aunt Ellen has already commented on Tom. I would just like to echo her comments in my own way.

I only remember meeting Tom once. It was at our family home in Chesterfield. He was sitting on the western porch of the house and looking in that direction ... west. He looked like a god to me as I was only about 10 years old at the time. He went inside and brought out a helmet I will never forget. I guess it was one of those chrome parade helmets. He didn't wear it. He just let me see it. Later that day, after gathering walnuts, he showed me how he worked out to stay in shape with home made weights ... two coffee cans filled with concrete connected by an iron bar. As I said, at my age he looked like a god.

It was before he returned to his second tour in Viet Nam. I asked him why he was going back but I have to be honest and say I'm not sure what I remember because I've asked this question before with other family members who have gone in harm's way. To be honest, I think he said it was what he needed to do to be promoted. I don't think that matters. In my mind he only wanted to be promoted to a point where he could do the best for America. Tom was that sort of person.

I don't remember seeing Tom again. The next thing I do remember is going to his funeral in Chesterfield. I can say his spirit influenced me and reinforced what I have always been raised to believe in ... the United States. I spent most of my life following in Tom's footsteps as a member of our military. He lit the path for me and as I think my aunt Ellen would say, we were probably cut from the same mold. We stood alone.

From his cousin,
Henry W. Pusser

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Detachment B-52 (Nha Trang) lost two men in an action at Plei Me, Pleiku Province, on 22 Oct 1965: CPT Thomas W. Pusser and SSG Jimmie L. McBynum of Kinston, NC.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his Godson,
Chris Coates

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Aug 2000
Last updated 11/13/2010