VIETNAM - CENTERS, WILLIAM P JR

Centers, William P Jr

VIETNAM - CENTERS, WILLIAM P JR
CENTERS, WILLIAM P JR

Rank: Specialist 5

Unit: K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 63C – General Vehicle Repairman

Awards: Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Unit awards: Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Enlisted by: Regular

Date of birth: 8-Jan-1941

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky

Marital status: Married to Elsbeth A. Centers, one son, one daughter

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 17-Oct-1962

Start of tour: 23-Aug-1966

Incident date: 21-May-1967

Date of casualty: 21-May-1967

Age at death: 26

Cause of death: Hostile, Died. Grenade. Multiple fragmentation wounds.
William P. Centers Jr was passenger in armored personnel carrier on a convoy escort when engaged hostile force in firefight.

Seventeen Blackhorse troopers died in this incident:
SP5 William P. Centers Jr
SGT Eugene Harold Dickinson
PVT Jerry Lee Houser
SP4 Toler Lee Hutchins Jr
SP4 Phillip Earl Ireland
SSG James Albert Jackson
SGT Alfred Lee
PFC Patrick Michael Loisel
SP4 Henry David McInnis
SP4 James David McWhorter
SP4 Anthony Wilfred Roybal
PFC Rodolfo Andres Saenz
SSG Walter Stephen Simpson
PFC William Charles Stanley
SP4 James Thomas Steighner
SP4 Dwight Elmer Timberlake
SP4 Larry Allen Williamson

Location of fatality: Long Khanh, South Vietnam, YT 564 054

Place of interment: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 20E 071 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE
POSTHUMOUS

SPECIALIST FIVE WILLIAM P. CENTERS JR
21 JULY 1967
K TROOP, 3rd SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Five Centers distinguished himself by valorous actions on 21 May 1967, while serving as a Track Vehicle Mechanic during a fierce encounter with the enemy on Route 1 near Soui Cat, Vietnam. As the armored convoy moved down a narrow road bordered on both sides with sparse brush and slight vegetation, it suddenly came under a murderous volume of recoilless rifle and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior Viet Cong forge. Specialist Centers immediately jumped from his position and bravely manned a M-60 machine gun. Without regard for personal safety and fully realizing the perils of the situation, Specialist Centers courageously remained at his weapon until he exhausted all his ammunition. With his ammunition expended, Specialist Centers grabbed his M-16 and ran to the back of the vehicle to suppress an attack from that direction. It was during this gallant act that Specialist Centers was struck by enemy fire and mortally wounded. Specialist Five Centers, personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division General Orders No. 1925 (27 June 1967)