Jimmy Ray Wheless

Army of the United States
17 July 1948 - 09 May 1968
San Angelo, Texas
Panel 58E Line 001

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Army Commendation, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit, ARVN Gallantry Cross, RVN Campaign medals

The database page for Jimmy Ray Wheless

17 May 2006

Jimmy Ray was born in Ballinger, Texas and was raised in San Angelo, Texas which is about 30 miles west of his birth place. He was the 4th of nine children born to Elsie Dunn and Mitchell Tom Wheless. He attended San Angelo Schools, Fort Concho Elementary, Edison Junior High and he last attended San Angelo Central High School. His father was a WW II veteran and had been a POW for 18 months in the European Theatre.

Jimmy dropped out of high school his junior year and worked at Martin Glover Grocery Distributors in San Angelo. He enlisted in the Army in July 1967 shortly before his 19th birthday. He did his basic and AIT in infantry at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He began his tour in Vietnam on February 5, 1968 and arrived in-country while the TET offensive was in full swing. He was killed in action on May 9, 1968 a little over three months later. He received a meritorious promotion to Corporal. He was buried with full military honors in the Fairview Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas, where his parents now rest next to him. He is remembered by his family and by the Concho Vietnam Memorial in San Angelo, Texas and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial located in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice not be forgotten.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown

23 May 2006

Jimmy, you are gone but not forgotten. You're always in our thoughts and prayers. We all are very proud and honored to say that our brother/uncle served his country with dignity, respect and bravery. That carries with us each and every day and in our hearts we know you did the right thing. One day we all will be together again - you, Mom, Dad, and Don Ray. We know that you four are being taken care of. We love and miss you very much till then...

From his sister,
Gladys M. Wheless Watson

24 May 2006

Even though you died when I was less than 2 years old, I have heard many stories over the years from mom and grandma about you. They both said you were a kind, very respectful, happy man. I am proud to say that my uncle served his country and had to die doing it. Jimmy, you are in our hearts and you're deeply loved and missed. I know you are up there with Grandma and Grampa and Don Ray watching over us. One day I will be able to meet you again...

From his niece,
Vickie L.watson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry lost four men on 09 May 1968. Three are known to have been with Bravo Company and it seems likely that Corporal Wheless was as well. The men were
  • CPL Jimmy R. Brown, Cleburne, TX, B Company;
  • CPL Terrence A. Kandler, Torrance, CA, B Company;
  • CPL Jimmy R. Wheless, San Angelo, TX, HQ Company; and
  • PFC Russell W. Jarick, Los Angeles, CA, medic, HQ Company with B Company.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 May 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009