Gordon Lee Patterson

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
24 April 1932 - 16 November 1968
Odessa, Texas
Panel 39W Line 075

Bronze Star, Purple Heart (2), USMC Good Conduct, Army Good Conduct, National Defense (2), Korean Service, Vietnam Service, UN Service, RoK War Service, RVN Campaign

The database page for Gordon Lee Patterson

15 Mar 2004

Gordon was a career soldier from Odessa, Texas. He had served nine years as an enlisted man before being commissioned as a warrant officer. He had served in the Marines during the Korean War. He was shot to death in hostile action near Ben Hoa in November 1968. His wife, Ida L., passed away April 11, 1977 and is buried next to him in the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Odessa, Texas.

He is remembered on the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial located at Midland, Texas as well as by the Ector County, Texas Vietnam Memorial. May his sacrifice not be forgotten.

From a hometown representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

Killed By Gunfire---

Odessa Soldier Dies in Vietnam

A 36-year-old veteran of the Korean War who left the Marines, joined the Odessa fire department, then decided to enlist in the Army dies last Saturday in Vietnam.
    He was Warrant Officer Godon Lee Patterson, son of Mrs. C. E. Terrell, 1705 San Fernando.
    Mrs. Terrill was notified of her son's death by telegram Tuesday night, his wife, in Lyons, Oregon, was told of his death by a military spokesman.
    Mrs. Terrill said the brief telegram, steeped in usual military jargon, said only that Patterson had died of wounds received when a water craft he was on came under hostile attack.
    It didn't say where; but it did say he was on shore patrol duty in the craft when it was attacked.
    Patterson had only been in Vietnam since Sept. 9; on Oct 1, he had been made chief engineer for motor repair of a boat fleet near Saigon.
    Mrs. Terrell said her son, who was wounded in the Korean War, decided to rejoin the Armed Forces about 1961.
    "I guess he just felt like he could do more good," said his mother Thursday. "It was something his family could depend on regularly, he thought. And he seemed happy in the service."
    "He planned to make a career of it."
    Patterson first came to Odessa with his parents in 1948, and attended schools here.
    When war broke out in Korea in 1950, he rushed to enlist in the Marines.
    Four years later, after receiving the Purple Heart, Patterson mustered out of the service and returned to Odessa, working in the oil field briefly until he joined the fire department.
    He was a fireman here until about 1961, when he decided to try Army life.
    First, he was assigned to Korea, then to Fort Hood, and from there he went to Okinawa. Patterson went stateside then, going to Virginia for special training in his specialty as a diesel engineer and electrician.
    From Virginia, he was dispatched to Vietnam.
    Born April 24, 1932, in Lamar County, he married Ida Terrell in California in 1954.
    Survivors include his wife; a son, Gordon Lee Jr.; and two daughters, Suzanna Marie and Terri Annette, all of Lyons, Ore.

16 Aug 2004

Gordon is my uncle. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War and then was out of the service for a while and then went back in as an enlisted man in the Army. He received a Warrant Officer commission and was killed about a year later. I still miss him. I am attempting to help get a biography done on my uncle for the Permian Basin Vietnam Veteran's Memorial located in Midland, Texas.

From his niece,
Deborah Patterson Holsworth

13 Nov 2005

Gordon L. Patterson was my father. I was told that he died saving the life of a young man who was just in country, who had frozen at the controls of his deck gun. Dad grabbed him and put him against a bulkhead and covered the young man's body with his own. The young man survived the attack.

My father died as he lived... a strong, brave man, and a hero.

Susanna Marie Patterson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Detachment 3 of the 4th Transportation Command lost two men on 16 Nov 1968 - WO Gordon L. Patterson and SP4 Russell A. Hodge of Crab Orchard, KY.

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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