Samuel Walter Yates

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
29 October 1945 - 16 July 1973
Sacramento, California
Panel 01W Line 119



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Samuel Walter Yates

09 Apr 2006

Samuel Walter Yates, the elder of two sons of William Yates and Eva Walter, was born October 29, 1945 in Sacramento, California. Sam attended Greer Grammar School, Jonas Salk Junior High School, and Encina High School, from which he graduated in 1963. Sam was a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps when he was wounded by shrapnel from a mortar round in Quang Nam. Terribly wounded, he was discharged and sent stateside where he was kept hospitalized until his death several years later from pneumonia at the Arden Memorial Convalescent Hospital in Sacramento. He was 27 years old. Burial was at East Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Sacramento at the Yates family plot. He joined his father who had died in an automobile accident when Sam was 13 and his brother Elmo who had died three years prior to Sam's death.

24 Apr 2006

The following new information has come to my attention:

In April 1968, Sam was recruited into the US Marine Corps with basic training in San Diego and rifle training in Camp Pendleton, California. In October 1968, Sam was deployed to Vietnam and assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division as a Rifleman. He participated in Operation Maui Peak, Operation Henderson Hill, and Operation Mead River, all in Quang Nam Province. In December 1968, Lance Corporal Yates was seriously wounded in the back of the head and right shoulder by shrapnel from a mortar round in Quang Nam. Sam was sent stateside where he was hospitalized at several veterans' hospitals until placed on the permanent disability retirement list in June 1969. Four years later at age 27, Sam died from pneumonia at the Arden Memorial Convalescent Hospital in Sacramento on July 16, 1973. He had been awarded the Purple Heart.

From a school mate,
Kathie Kloss Marynik
8417 Lakeland Drive, Granite Bay, Ca 95746

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and HQ USMC have collaborated to determine that LCpl Yates was assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, and The Virtual Wall has determined that Lance Corporal Yates was wounded on 01 Dec 1968. At that time the 3/5 Marines were participating in Operation MEADE RIVER.

The Company lost four men as a result of that day's action, one of whom was awarded the Silver Star. The Citation for that award sets out the circumstances:

"On 1 December 1968, during Operation Meade River, Company L was maneuvering across an open area when the Marines came under a heavy volume of sniper, mortar, and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior hostile force occupying well-concealed emplacements. Separated from the main body of the company, Lance Corporal Love and several companions made repeated attempts to rejoin their unit but were halted by intense enemy fire."
Although Lance Corporal Love's actions permitted the main body to retrieve the Marines who had been separated, he was fatally wounded in the effort, dying the following day. Two others had been killed in the action, and one - LCpl Samuel Yates - eventually would die from the wounds he incurred. The four men were
  • LCpl Clarance L. Love, Tyler, TX (DoW 12/02/1968) (Silver Star)
  • LCpl Samuel W. Yates, Sacramento, CA (DoW 07/16/1973)
  • Pfc Joseph A. Merrill, Dennis Port, MA
  • Pfc William A. Perkins, Baltimore, MD

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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