THOMAS R KYLE - PFC
- park ridge
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- December 10, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- August 20, 1966
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Thomas Robert Kyle Jr. was born December 10, 1946 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken, New Jersey. His parents, Thomas Sr. and Edith had two more boys: Kevin in 1949 and Dennis in 1954. Tom attended Our Lady of Grace Grammar school and graduated from Hoboken Senior High School in June 1963.
Both Tom and his mother were avid Bowlers and played in the Hudson County ABC League for many years. He attended Fairleigh Dickinson University for one year and was working at Becton Dickinson & Co. when he received his Order to Report for Induction into the US Army at Hackensack, NJ on January 26, 1966. That morning, the US Marines were also looking for a few good men and Tom’s six years of weight lifting / body building paid off when he was taken out of the Army line and inducted into the US Marine Corps.
After basic training at Parris Island, NC, and additional training at Camp Pendleton, CA, Tom was assigned as Rifeman to the 3rd Marine Division, Major General W.B. Kyle (no relation) Commanding, stationed near Danang in the Republic of Vietnam. In a letter dated July 23, 1966, Tom noted he had arrived at M Company, Captain J.G. Cooper Commanding, to find the guys very friendly but the company strength was down to 80 men from 150. His platoon (1st platoon) had 21 men, only six with combat experience.
On August 20, while on patrol, 1st platoon was ordered to fix bayonets and assault a large number of Viet Cong insurgents well entrenched in a tree line. During the assault Tom Kyle was mortally wounded. He was 19 years old.
Thomas R Kyle Jr. was awarded the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Service Award and the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon bar from the US Government. The Republic of Vietnam awarded him the Military Merit Medal and Gallantry Cross with Palm.
Tom’s body was accompanied home by PFC Tim Jennings representing the United States Marine Corps. He was buried at Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, NJ on August 31, 1966. His parents, Tom and Edith, never recovered.
Sources: Newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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