Jerry Leon Antrich
During the Vietnam War there was no overriding reason to keep close track of names of the men and women who died as a result of military service in the war zone. A decade after the withdrawal of US forces, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was approved for construction. The service branches went back through their records to identify our dead by name.
Inevitably some men who should have been named on the "Wall" were not. Over the years additional names have been inscribed on the Wall - some were men who died after the war as a result of wounds received in the war, and others were men whose names were overlooked in earlier years.
The Department of Defense has approved having his name etched on the Wall during May 2014, along with 13 other names. His name will be placed somewhere near the names of those who died the same day.
Jerry Leon Antrich was born in Wied, Lavaca County, Texas on June 20, 1930 to Theresia Proschko Antrich (1894 - 1947) and Joseph William Antrich (1893 - 1960). His father was the son of German born parents who immigrated to the US and were naturalized. His mother was born in Austria.
To the union of Joe and Theresia were born: Veronia Elizabeth Antrich Lunar (1914-1990), Herbert "Dutch" (1916-1996), Irene Georgia Antrich Livanec (1918-2012), Milert August(1919-1995), Angeline Ann "Angie" Antrich Brannam (1922-2014), Leroy J (1924-1968; WWII-US Army), Robertha or Bertha J Antrich Hargrove (1927- ) and Jerry Leon (1930-1969). All children were born on the family farm near Shiner. Jerry's death certificate states it was Wied Texas (near Shiner)
Records indicate Jerry served at Fort Sill from 1952 to 1964 with 3 intervening tours in Korea and Germany. In June 1966 he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley Kansas and then to the 84th Artillery in Korea from August 1966 to January 1967 when that battery went to Vietnam.
On November 1, 1967, as part of Operation Coronado IX, with Task Force Funston at Dong Tam Base (XS 4143), Jerry's artillery battery received incoming mortar rounds. Communist bombardment of Dong Tam was not unusual. Prior to the annual monsoon season, Dong Tam was mortared with great regularity. The most common way the Communists got attention was to toss in a few mortar rounds. They did this often, typically with no specific target. Their purpose was to cause mayhem throughout the base and instill fear in US troops.
Aerial View of Dong Tam base, circa 1968.
Killed in the mortar attack on Dong Tam was CPL Gerald Allen Iverson also from A Battery.
Jerry was wounded and was evacuated from Vietnam on November 16, 1967. After a month at 249th General Hospital in Japan, he was admitted as a patient to the Medical Holding Company at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Aurora Colorado. He was permanently retired due to wounds on February 8, 1968 and ultimately transferred to the VA Hospital in Marlin Texas (150 miles NW of Houston - he had family in Houston area) where he passed.
Announced in The Lawton Constitution, 11 August 1969, page 1: "Died Sunday morning at the Veteran's hospital in Marlin, Tex. Sgt 1. C Jerry Leon Antrich, 39, of 16 N. 27th, died as the result of head wounds received in Vietnam Nov. 1, 1967. He had been unconscious since June 18. He was wounded while serving with A Battery, 1st Battalion, 84th Artillery, with the 9th Infantry. He is the 55th known person from Lawton to die as the result of the Vietnam war. Sgt Antrich had been in various Army and veterans hospitals since he was wounded. He had served in the Korean War and also was wounded there."
Announced in The Lawton Constitution, 14 August 1969, page 14: "Sgt Jerry Antrich - Service for Sgt 1. C. Jerry Leon Antrich, 16 N. 27th, will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the Hilltop Chapel with Chaplain (Lt, Col.) William Mayer officiating. Burial will be in the Fort Sill Cemetery with full military honors. Sgt. Antrich died Sunday as a result of head wounds received in Vietnam in November of 1967. He served with A Battery, 1st Battalion, 84th Artillery, 9th Infantry. "
Jerry is buried in Section V, Lot 2735 on Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma.
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