James Daniel Kelley

Military Data
MOS 0311 Rifleman
LenSvc Less than one year
Unit FOX Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division

Casualty Data
Start Tour Friday, 21 June 1968
Cas Date Thursday, 19 September 1968
Age at Loss 19
Remains Body Recovered
Location Quang Nam, South Vietnam
Type Hostile, Died
Reason Gun, Small Arms Fire – Ground Casualty

Vietnam Wall Panel 43W Line 038

Friend!Fox Co. 27, 1st MarDiv, FMF
PFC James D. Kelley Aways a Marine, forever a Hero!
PFC James Daniel Kelley and I were good friends in Vietnam. We were Marines in Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, FMF. In June 1968, we both joined up with Fox Company in the Philippines. We completed several weeks of Jungle Warfare training and then we boarded the USS Ogden and headed for SE Asia via the South China Sea. We had no idea that we were heading straight into hell. Jim was born in Greeneville, Tennessee on November 13, 1948 and was only 19 and a half years old when he was killed in action. Jim had been in Vietnam for three months and had already participated in 4 or 5 major combat operations. PFC Kelley, who was a rifleman, showed extraordinary heroism on September 19, 1968, during Operation Mameluke Thrust, also know as Operation Dodge City. Fox Company was conducting a reconnaissance in force in Quang Nam Province when we encountered a large ememy force employing heavy automatic weapons and accurate sniper fire which pinned down elements of the company and caused numberous casualties and wounded in action. Disregarding his own safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to the intense hostile fire where he succumbed to his bullet wounds. His bold initiative and heroic efforts inspired all who observed him and contributed immeasurably to the accomplishment of Fox Company’s mission. By his courage, sincere concern for the welfare of his fellow Marines and unwavering devotion to duty, PFC Kelley upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps. He gallantly gave his life for his country. The following 14 Marines died that day with PFC Kelley Cpl Thomas Cavanaugh Sgt Raymond Conway PFC Michael Figueroa LCpl Mark Knollmeyer LCpl John Krol PFC Peter Matarazzo PFC Terrence Moran PFC Gary Noles Pvt Francis Rhoades LCpl Roy Rich LCpl Pedro Rodriques Cpl Edgar Smith PFC Mark Triplett LCpl Philip Wajda. Jim, you will never be forgotten. Even as the years pass, Vietnam keeps coming back to us. You gave the supreme sacrifice for your country. You served the Corps honorably and died gallantly in battle. PFC Kelley will always be a Marine, and forever a Hero. Love and miss you. Semper Fi
Thursday, May 12, 2005

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 13 November 1948
  • Date of death: 19 September 1968
  • County: Greene
  • Hometown: Greeneville
  • Service Branch: Marine Corps
  • Division/Assignment: 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: GreeneLawn Memory Gardens, Greeneville, Greene County, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XXII, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor James D. Kelley

Submit more information on this veteran →