Fred Joe Hayes

Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
07 September 1942 - 13 April 1968
Walnut Creek, California
Panel 49E Line 042


Silver Star

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Fred Joe Hayes

14 Sep 2001

I served with SSgt Fred J. Hayes in 1st Battalion, 27th Marines. He received the Silver Star posthumously in 1968 while serving in 1/27 in the Hue area east of the City. He is documented in Dr. Gary Jarvis's history book "Young Blood: A History of the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines Vietnam 1968".

Staff Sergeant Fred Hayes is not forgotten.
I remember him, and he is remembered with other men of
Delta 1/27 Marines .

Grady Birdsong

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Scout with Company D, First Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 April 1968, during an operation along the canal east of HUE, elements of the First Battalion came under heavy enemy automatic weapons, small arms and rocket fire and temporarily pinned down... From his company's position overlooking the canal, Sergeant HAYES observed several wounded Marines lying in the open terrain and unhesitatingly volunteered to lead a rescue team across the fire-swept area to assist the casualties. Carefully selecting an approach route, he crossed the canal and, providing covering fire for his companions, continued to advance until he reached the wounded Marines. Repeatedly exposing himself to heavy enemy fire, Sergeant HAYES rendered first aid, directed the activities of his companions and assisted in moving the casualties to covered positions. While aiding a wounded Marine, he himself was seriously wounded by enemy fire. Despite his serious injury, Sergeant HAYES continued to render medical aid until he succumbed to his wound. His heroic actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his extraordinary courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty, Sergeant HAYES upheld the highes traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


by the

28 Oct 2001

Fred Hayes had been promoted to Staff Sergeant several weeks before his death but hadn't received word yet. Some still remember him as "Sergeant" Hayes but he was a Staff Sergeant when he was killed. I remember him with respect and admiration.

David Harrison

October 30, 2001

I was Sergeant Hayes' Platoon Commander for some period of time prior to his death on April 13, 1968. My initial dealings with Sergeant Fred Hayes were not the most pleasant. He was a recently returned veteran of a tour in Vietnam where he had been decorated for combat actions. I had to put my foot down, hard, several times, to let him know who was the boss. The fact is that both of us were pretty salty, as I was a Mustang officer with service in Korea and Vietnam, and he a combat veteran.

On the day I was promoted to First Lieutenant, I and other salty LTs immediately mustered at the Officer's Club to toast our own wonderfulness. I had no sooner settled into my first beer when a frantic phone call was received telling me to get back to the Platoon area, something was up, and get moving on the double. When I asked what was going on, no one would tell me.

When I arrived in the area, there was my Platoon, in formation, and right in front was Sergeant Hayes with a bright, shining Officer's Sword. Sergeant Hayes had made arrangements with the entire Platoon to chip in and buy the Sword for presentation on that day long ago. To me that Sword is a treasure.

As the Tet offensive of 1968 blew up in everyone's faces, the Battalion was ordered to Vietnam. I was pulled into a Rifle Company (we were Recon types) and Sergeant Hayes was assigned to the S-2 Section as a Scout. On April 13, 1968, we were conducting a multi-company, reinforced, operation against NVA forces left over from the battle for Hue City. We all knew that the battle was to be joined very soon.

I glanced over to my left, saw Sergeant Hayes on the other side of a canal, spoke briefly to him, told him to keep his head down, and waved goodbye to him. He was attached to Company D for the operation. Within minutes he would be dead. Our lead elements came under tremendous enemy fire from small arms, automatic weapons, some RPG fire and we took a rash of casualties immediately. Seeing several of my men lying in the open, and in need of help, Sergeant Hayes waded, no dashed, though the chest deep canal into the open rice paddy in an effort to save my men. He was hit hard by small arms fire. His last words I am told were, "Tell my wife and kids I love them".

His last actions were FOR others and his last words were OF others. Greater love hath no man! I evacuated Sergeant Hayes and the other brave Marines who died that day, and he now rests in peace, either that or is giving the Officer of the Day some grief at Heaven's Gate.

As long as the Marine Corps can produce Sergeants like Fred Hayes, this nation should fear no evil ... ever!

Semper Fi, Marine! I shine the Sword and keep it ship-shape to this day! God Bless!

John Bouldin
Captain, USMC (Retired)

14 Sep 2005

I never knew SSgt Hayes. I was asked to "adopt" him by a Vietnam Veteran when the Moving Wall came to Melbourne, Florida. I never really knew, until now, how SSgt Hayes died, but am proud that that Vet asked me to go and see him at the Wall. I plan to make the trip this February to see him.

From a grateful soldier,
Spc Jonathan Scotton, US Army

12 Feb 2006

I was asked to "adopt" Staff Sergeant Hayes by a Marine who is alive today because of him. I think it was the Marine mentioned in his citation. I am honored that he thought to have me adopt SSgt Hayes.

SPC(P) Jon Scotton
United States Army

07 Jul 2006

I served with Fred in the 27th Marines, Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii, in 1967. His bracelet found its way to me via a high school girl while I was driving a school bus here in Pittsburgh, PA. The girl found the bracelet, but for years was afraid to wear it because she thought she would get into trouble wearing it. She had no idea what she had.

I did not know Fred personally but I believe Fred was killed trying to save the lives of Marines from A Co 1/27 at Hue 4/13/68. It was like getting hit with a hammer when I received this bracelet. I would give the bracelet back to his wife or daughter should they want it.

Howard B. Matthews, Jr.
Corporal, A Co, 1/27 1967-68
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 13 April 1968 the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, fought a bloody battle with elements of the North Vietnamese Army east of the city of Hue. The fight cost the Marines dearly - 26 dead, even worse than Sergeant Garza remembers, and 46 wounded - but killed at least 62 enemy soldiers and helped to clear the area of remaining NVA/VC forces. The dead were
  • A Company:
    • SSgt Glennis R. Kellams, New Albany, IN (Silver Star)
    • Cpl Kenneth M. Watson, Toledo, OH
    • LCpl Richard L. Embrey, Warren, AZ
    • LCpl Stephen J. Hinds, Osseo, MN
    • Pfc Raymond Armstrong, Cleveland, OH
    • Pfc Frank W. Atherton, Templeton, PA
    • Pfc Robert C. Healey, Trenton, NJ
    • Pfc Kenneth L. Hinnant, Johnson City, TN
    • Pfc Larry C. Hopper, Ontario, CA
    • Pfc Jerry A. Snipes, Albemarle, NC

  • B Company:
    • 2ndLt Alan A. Kettner, Springfield, MN
    • Cpl James E. Hodge, Macksburg, OH
    • LCpl Terry L. Fuhrman, Fort Wayne, IN (DoW 14 Apr 68)
    • LCpl Alfred V. Whitmer, Morenci, AZ
    • Pfc Roger A. Boomsma, Arcadia, CA
    • Pfc Douglas L. Long, Savannah, GA
    • Pfc Barry D. Lord, Findlay, OH
    • Pfc Paul L. Whitthorne, Memphis, TN
    • Pfc William W. Wilson, St Marys, WV
    • Pvt Ray T. Comfort, Northumberland, PA

  • C Company:
    • Cpl Joseph C. Reid, Baton Rouge, LA
    • Pfc Donald L. Mansfield, Rockland, ME
    • Pfc William G. Parker, Detroit, MI

  • H&S Company:
    • SSgt Fred J. Hayes, Walnut Creek, CA (Silver Star) (with Delta 1/27)
    • HN3 Robert L. Dodsworth, Franklin, IL
    • HN Richard E. Cawley, St Joseph, MO

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade-in-arms,
Grady Birdsong

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Sep 2001
Last updated 07/07/2006