June 6, 1949 (Norwalk, CT) – October 6, 1968; 19 years old
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
Unit: III MAF, 1st Marine Division, 7th Marines, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters & Service Company
Born to James Hendricks and Amelia Butler Hendricks. Two sisters, Sandra one year younger and Karen 16 years younger.
Casualty Location: Vicinity of Thuong Duc, South Vietnam (vehicle accident)
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.
From The Norwalk Hour October 18, 1968
A Son Of Norwalk Comes Home: Rites Held For Fallen Marine
A large outpouring of city officials, friends and relatives gave tribute Thursday to PFC James T. Hendricks who died Sunday while serving in the U.S. Marines in Vietnam. They attended a solemn requiem mass at St. Joseph’s Church and a burial with full military honors in Riverside Cemetery. The long funeral cortege reached the cemetery at 10 a.m. A Marine honor guard moved the casket from the hearse to the burial site on the American Legion plot just a few paces from Riverside Avenue. Another half-dozen Marines in dress uniform, took a position to the northwest on a slight rise, the striking colors in their uniforms competing with the vivid hues of the changing leaves on maples in the background. Mr. and Mrs. James Hendricks of 93 Woodward Avenue, the parents, and Miss Sandra Hendricks, a sister were escorted to the gravesite by Marine Sergeant John F. Chapman. He has lived with the Hendricks family since Monday and returned to his base in Philadelphia today. The Chicago native and veteran of Vietnam with Bronze Star and Purple Heart, is on assignment to assist the families of deceased Marines. A flag of the United States was held tautly over the casket as Reverend Stanley Koziol of St. Joseph’s Church read committal prayers with the assistance of Reverend Leonard M. Conlon of St. Philip’s Church and Reverend William Sheyd of St. Mary’s Church, who responded. The flag was folded and presented to Mrs. Hendricks by a 21-year Marine veteran from New York State. He gave thanks to Mrs. Hendricks from the government and the Marines for the services performed by her son. Mrs. Hendricks accepted the flag stoically and handed it to Mr. Hendricks who bowed his head. The honor guard snapped to attention and saluted as a three-volley salute was fired by the squad on the hill. “Taps” followed and the ceremony was over. Miss Hendricks moved to the casket of her brother with whom she had been so close as children growing up and knelt by it. “Tommy! Tommy!” she implored as tears poured over the casket. She pressed her face to the cold metal and sobbed until Sergeant Chapman and another Marine friend of the family moved in and lifted her away. The grave of PFC Hendricks lies in the shade of a large maple. It is the last grave in the Legion plot donated by the cemetery association after World War II. Buried to the right, closer to Riverside Avenue, are two other recently deceased veterans of Vietnam, Lance Corporal Charles E. Richards who died February 4 at the age of 23, and Walter F. Hoyt Jr., who died on March at the age of 19. Earlier, Father Koziol had sung the mass at St. Joseph’s with Father Conlon and Father Sheyd seated in the sanctuary. More than 200 persons attended the mass including police and fire honor guards, many members of veterans organizations and Mayor Frank N. Zullo. Also in attendance was Mrs. Vincent J. Fabrizio who lost her only son almost 18 months ago in Vietnam. PFC Hendricks had been a Marine for two years and had served in the Mediterranean before moving to Southeast Asia in August. He was assigned to a ship off of Vietnam but would go ashore weekly to pick up supplies. He was killed when the jeep in which he was riding, overturned on a curve. He suffered a broken back and internal injuries. Information from Vietnam indicated he had received the last rites of the Catholic Church before he died.
Private Hendricks is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Norwalk; Section 11, Plot 302. Photo by webmaster.