William Gary Smith

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
09 May 1947 - 21 February 1968
Sellersburg, Indiana
Panel 40E Line 056


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Gary Smith

05 Feb 2008

Gary was killed at the Battle of Hue City. I grew up with Gary and we went to school and church together. He was a very good person with a bright future. I joined the Marines in March 1966 and he joined in March 1967. I received word of his death while I was at Khe Sanh and was deeply saddened. We lived in a small town and lost 6 men in Vietnam. He was the first.

From a friend,
John Hargesheimer

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Elements of the 2nd Bn, 5th Marines were the "first responders" to the Tet invasion of Hue City, with other ARVN and US units arriving rapidly over the next few days - but not the 1st Bn, 5th Marines. When the Tet Offensive began 1/5 was further south at Phu Loc, charged with protecting Highway QL-1 between the Hai Van Pass and the southern outskirts of Phu Bai and could not be moved until an Army battalion was moved north to cover the vital highway. On 11/12 Feb the 1/5 Marines were relieved of the responsibilities and moved north to Hue City, entering combat in the city on 13 Feb.

The 1/5 Marines lost 93 men killed in action during February 1968, most during the heavy fighting to retake the Hue Citadel. Pfc Smith was killed just at the end of the fighting within the city proper.

Sellersburg is in Clark County, Indiana. The casualty database shows that 28 men from Clark County died as a result of service in Vietnam, but only five show Sellersburg as their Home of Record:
  • Pfc William G. Smith, Bravo 1/5th Marines (02/21/1968)
  • SGT Willard Skaggs, Charlie 4/9th Infantry (03/02/1968)
  • LCpl Cal T. Hammack, Golf 2/26 Marines (01/29/1969)
  • SGT David R. Beyl, Delta 2/501st Infantry (07/18/1970)
  • WO Thomas M. Barnett, A Troop, 3/17 Cav (09/26/1970)
Four of the five are buried in the Sellersburg Cemetery; Lance Corporal Hammack is buried in the Smith Campground Cemetery in nearby Dogwood, Indiana.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
John Hargesheimer

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Feb 2008
Last updated 11/27/2012