DOUGLAS R DICKERSON - LCPL
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- October 23, 1948
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- August 15, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Douglas R. Dickerson, Jr. was born on October 23, 1948, to Douglas and Clara Dickerson. He had six siblings: William, Paul, Joan, Gail, Lisa and Sherry. He attended Eldridge Park School, Lawrence Junior High School and graduated from Trenton Central High School in 1966. Dougie enjoyed sports and was a distance runner on the Trenton High track and field team. He was active in the Boy Scouts as well. He had planned to go to college after his service and had favored Georgia Tech.
Douglas enlisted in the US Marine Corps and completed his basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, in Platoon 3068. He was sent to Vietnam on January 1, 1967, with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, FMF. Dickerson attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL). Dickerson was a combat rifleman.
Dickerson was wounded on August 1, and, while not entirely healed, requested to be sent back to his unit. On August 15, 1967, he was killed in action at Quang Nam after suffering fragmentation wounds to his body from a Viet Cong explosive device.
Douglas received a military funeral including a color guard and firing squad. His grave can be found in Ewing Cemetery, Section C, Row 58, Grave 42 in Trenton, NJ.
Dickerson received numerous awards and decorations, which include the National Defense Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Purple Heart.
Dickerson once wrote his parents in a letter that he was not afraid to fight or even die for his country because "it is my duty."
A special edition of Look Magazine in 1967, featured interviews with troops in Vietnam and Douglas Dickerson Jr. was one of the interviewees. His photograph accompanied the interview, and he was quoted as saying, "America had promised to support the Vietnamese if and when they needed it. Well, the call came, and we came. As for me, I figure every man owes his country at least a two-year hitch."
Outside Lawrence Junior High School, there is a marker honoring Douglas Dickerson and his classmate, Clifford "Kip" Stout.
Follow this link to read an article from the May 28, 2007, special addition of the The Trentonian newspaper.
Sources: Clara Dickerson (mother), Jack Ruffer (Vietnam Veteran), The Trentonian and NJVVMF.
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