Jerry Dwayne Underwood

Private First Class
Army of the United States
06 June 1946 - 18 September 1965
Louisville, Kentucky
Panel 02E Line 090


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Jerry Dwayne Underwood

6 Feb 2001


I served with Jerry Underwood in the 101st Airborne from Feb 2, 1964 until he re-upped. He wanted to go to Germany as an MP but instead they sent him to Okinawa with the "Herd" (173rd Airborne Brigade). He was the first of my friends to die in Vietnam. I believe he was killed in Bien Hoa province, because the 173rd was operating mostly in that area at the time.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

PFC Underwood didn't go to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, as Mr. Pagel believed, but rather to C Company, 2/502nd Infantry, and deployed to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade in July 1965.

In mid-September, 2/502nd Infantry was tasked with an air assault against elements of the 95th NVA Battalion in the vicinity of An Ninh village, about 17 miles northeast of An Khe in the Central Highlands. Three companies from 2/502 were to fly in on the morning of 18 Sep 1965 in the 101st Airborne Division's first major assault, termed OPERATION GIBRALTAR. GIBRALTAR was supported by 20 UH-1s from the 52nd Aviation Battalion and 7 Marine UH-34s, providing for a command-and-control ship and 26 troop lift aircraft. When the first wave landed at about 0700, they found themselves in a hot zone - and it was quickly apparent that limited troop-lift capacity was going to be a problem.

The combat area was not fully covered by friendly artillery and through a series of glitches tactical air support was not immediately available, leaving the paratroopers largely unsupported in the midst of a VC/NVA base area.

By day's end the paratroops had more than held their own, but not without casualties - 13 men were dead, and many more wounded. The men killed in action were

  • HHC, 2/502
  • B Co, 2/502
  • C Co, 2/502
    • CPT Robert E. Rawls, Royal Oak, MI
    • SSG George E. Burchett, Bloomington, IL
    • SSG Roynald E. Taylor, Metter, GA
    • SP4 Frank Boynton, Columbus, GA
    • PFC Ernest K. Gerhardt, Modesto, CA
    • PFC Leroy Hicks, Newport, NJ
    • PFC Jerry D. Underwood, Louisville, KY
    • PFC Johnnie P. Winfrey, Bay City, TX

  • C Btry, 2/320th Arty Rgt
    • 2LT Edward H. Fox, Plainview, TX, Arty FO w/ C/2/502

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
John E. Pagel 2nd 
6 Feb 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/28/2004