KEITH F PERRELLI - LCPL
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- January 08, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- September 25, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Keith Francis Perrelli was born on January 8, 1947. His home of record is Jefferson, NJ. Keith grew up in Clifton, NJ. He had a brother, Duane, and a sister, Deidre. In 1962, the family moved from Clifton to Oakridge, NJ. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1965, where he lettered in track, football and wrestling.
Perrelli entered the US Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL/E3), serving in the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He received basic training during 1966 and was ordered to Vietnam soon after. Participating in Operation Junction City, Perrelli found himself and his fellow Marines cut off from his company. Acting as a forward observer, he called in artillery fire to protect his unit from being overrun. During this engagement, Perrelli was wounded and later received the Purple Heart for his actions.
Around September 1, 1967, an artillery duel ensued between the dug in Marines of the 3rd Division and the North Vietnamese troops, who reportedly had moved at least three troops into the DMZ in preparation for an invasion. Perrelli and his fellow Marines stood in their way.
On September 25, 1967, at the age of 20, Perrelli was killed in action by an artillery and mortar bombardment of his sandbagged position at Con Thien, in South Vietnam, Quang Tri Province.
He received two Purple Hearts, the Presidential Unit Citation and Close Combat Ribbon. From the South Vietnamese Government, he received the Gallantry Cross, the Military Merit Medal and the Presidential Citation.
The Township of Jefferson named a street in his honor. Perrelli Lane is located in the White Rock Section.
Information provided by Frank Perrelli (father) and NJVVMF.
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