James Raymond Kelly, III

United States Marine Corps
12 March 1945 - 24 March 1967
Sacramento, California
Panel 17E Line 036

Navy Cross

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

The database page for James Raymond Kelly, III

14 Nov 2001

I do not fear an army of lions,
if they are led by a lamb.
I do fear an army of sheep,
if they are led by a lion.
-- Alexander the Great --

James Raymond Kelly was a lion.

Jon Rice

26 Aug 2005

This was my dad. I was only 7 months old when he was killed. My brother Sean was born in May of 1967, only 2 months after my dad was laid to rest. We have grown up with a wonderful step-father who provided a good life for us and our Mother. I have often wondered, though, how our lives might have all been different had my Dad returned. One never knows. I do know that I would have liked the opportunity to have known him. We have so few pictures of him and only one of him holding me as an infant when he returned home on leave. As fate would have it, that was when my brother was conceived so I guess God did have a master plan.

The "war" has left us all scarred.


PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,
I ate with you, and slept with you - your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass - you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you - I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,
I am to wait - I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
- Walt Whitman (1819-1892) -

From his son,
James R Kelly IV

27 Nov 2005

James Raymond Kelly is my paternal grandpa. I didn't know him nor will I ever. I've grown up not knowing him and wish that could change. I'm 11 now and it would have helped if he was here to teach me great things.I know he would have. In his place is my grandpa who has done a great job in helping me be a great person. My uncle and my dad don't remember my grandpa so my only hope in knowing him is by the internet, books and my grandma. I know that it was hard on her at first raising my uncle and dad as a single mother and she often tells stories about it when I visit her. But then she met my other uncle's dad and it must have helped. She met my grandpa and has been happy ever since. My family is wacky and fun and I wish my grandpa could have been here to join in on the fun.

From his granddaughter,
Taylar Ashlynn Kelly

11 Mar 2006

I spent the last week in Washington D.C. on Capital Hill lobbying for my city of Pinole.

The most moving part of my trip was taking my son Hayden and placing our hands on my Uncle's name on the Wall.

I never met Jim, but my whole life my mother, Jim's older sister, talked about her brother with much love and respect, many times in tears.

Jim has inspired me my whole live, and now inspires my son too.

Jim, your love for your country and all of us has touched millions of Americans.

"Thank you" seems to fall short.....

From his nephew,
David C. Cole
Pinole, Ca, 94564

24 Sep 2007

My name is Darren Cole, and James is my Uncle. I never met him, but I look exactly like him. He has inspired me so many times in my life. I will never forget the positive influence he has had on my life.

Darren Cole

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 24 May 1967 elements of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, were conducting a search and destroy mission in the vicinity of Con Thien in Quang Tri Province. As India 3/3 entered the village it came under heavy fire from an entrenched NVA force. The sbsequent fighting caused the deaths of five Marines:
  • GySgt Louis A. Pichon, Slidell, LA, C Co (Navy Cross)
  • Cpl James R. Kelly, Sacramento, CA, C Co (Navy Cross)
  • Cpl Jodie V. Welch, Kansas City, KS, H&S Co
  • LCpl Marvin T. Noah, Broken Bow, OK, H&S Co
  • Pfc Jimmy D. Moody, Kennett, MO, H&S Co (Silver Star)
Corporal Kelly was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in the battle:

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

James Raymond Kelly, III
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism while serving as a grenadier with Company I, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in Vietnam on 24 March 1967. During a search and destroy mission, Corporal Kelly's platoon was engaged in a heavily contested conflict against enemy forces. As his platoon entered the village of An Hoa, it became subjected to intense enemy mortar and automatic weapons fire, which inflicted numerous casualties upon the Marines. With complete disregard for his own safety and with full knowledge of the hazards involved, Corporal Kelly assaulted an enemy bunker single-handedly and destroyed it. The enemy then attempted to flank the Marine platoon with six men armed with automatic weapons. Utilizing a well camouflaged trenchline, the enemy was close to accomplishing their objective when Corporal Kelly suddenly observed their movement. He rushed forward in the face of certain death, killed three of the enemy and caused the remainder to flee. Mortally wounded during this action, Corporal Kelly by his bold initiative and selfless concern for others undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades. His daring display of courage was responsible for the eventual successful accomplishment of the platoon's mission and an inspiration to all who observed him. Corporal Kelly's indomitable fighting spirit, professional skill and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son,
James R Kelly IV

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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 Nov 2001
Last updated 06/10/2008