PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JAMES THOMAS HENDRICKS; U.S. MARINE CORPS

June 06, 1949 (Norwalk, CT) – October 06, 1968; 19 years old; unmarried
Last local address: 93 Woodward Avenue, Apt 8, South Norwalk
Enlisted on August 30, 1966 (17 years old); MOS 0351, Assaultman
Service number: 2239603
Tour Start Date: July 28, 1968
III MAF, 1ST MARINE DIVISION, 7TH MARINES, 2ND BATTALION, HEADQUARTERS & SERVICE COMPANY

Casualty Location: Vicinity of Thuong Duc, South Vietnam (vehicle accident)

James is on The Wall at Panel 41W, Line 17

From The Norwalk Hour October 9, 1968

Marine PFC James T. Hendricks of 93 Woodward Avenue, died Friday in Vietnam of injuries received in a motor vehicle accident. The 19-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hendricks died of internal injuries when the vehicle in which he was riding near Quang Nam overturned. The parents received word of the death from two Marine officers who appeared at their home Tuesday morning. PFC Hendricks is the 12th son of Norwalk to die in Vietnam and the second this year. Twenty-five residents of Norwalk and the seven-town area surrounding it have died in Vietnam. A good-looking young man of medium height and husky build, PFC Hendricks enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly after his 17th birthday in 1966. He received basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina then moved to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina for advanced training. Then followed a seven-month tour of the Mediterranean prior to the Israeli – Egyptian crisis earlier this year. He was stationed near that trouble spot until August when he was transferred to the Philippines and then to Vietnam. He was a graduate of Benjamin Franklin Junior High and the Center for Vocational Arts in the Winnipauk School. One of his favorite pursuits was football and he performed with the Trojans in the Recreation Youth League a few years ago. He was also an avid sports fan, particularly of football and his favorite team, the New York Giants. He would have been especially pleased this year with the success of the Mara-men. PFC Hendricks had lived with his family in a new two-story apartment building on Woodward Avenue. His father is a regular clerk at the Norwalk Post Office where he has been employed since 1962. Mr. Hendricks, the father, settled in Norwalk after World War II and established himself as a star baseball and basketball player on innumerable championship teams including Lessing – Rudner and Carver in basketball and Pastimes and Strawberry Hill Athletic Club in baseball. He married the former Amelia Butler in 1948 and the next year James Thomas, the only son, was born. There are two daughters, Sandra Patricia, 17, and Karen, three. Mrs. Anna Butler, his grandmother, also survives. Mr. Hendricks, who carried the nickname “Hawk” in his playing days, always displayed a noble attitude as an athlete and everyone who ever played with him or against him respected his personality as well as ability. The son took after the father in many ways and was remembered today by friends and acquaintances as a “nice lad.” But Mr. Hendricks was upset today by the death of his only son and he expressed criticism of the Vietnam War and the loss of young Americans there. “I wouldn’t have any complaints if we were at war, or even if the United Nations was operating there. But it’s a crime the way we in this country have to keep losing our young men in something that other nations don’t even care about. “It also seems wrong to me that we have to sue such young men over there. I feel sorry for all those who have lost their children and for the children as well. After all, these kids haven’t had a chance to enjoy some of the happier moments in life. It’s just not right.” Mrs. Hendricks, as mothers will, expressed deep sorrow and even some resentment. A handsome, soft-spoken woman, Mrs. Hendricks said she was somewhat bitter. “It seems a shame,” she said seeking reassurance, “that these boys have to go over there in such numbers and fight for their country and die or come home and find themselves unable to get a house where they’d like to live. I was mad before this happened, but I can’t restrain myself now. We should be doing things in this country to make it better and not worrying about what is happening over there.” Mr. Hendricks sat in the chair and listened, his head down, his blood-shot eyes in his hands.

Private Hendricks is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Norwalk; Section 11, Plot 302.

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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