1948? – ?
Marital status unknown
Local address: 7 Clara Drive, Norwalk
Enlisted on April 8, 1966. Inducted in September 1966.
Serial number 232283
Unit: 9th Marines, 1st Battalion, B Company, 3rd Platoon

Born to Daniel (1922-2001) and Loretta Carignan Kaplan (1924-?). Gary was their only child.

Wounded on April 26, 1967 by fragmentation wounds. Wounded again on July 2, 1967 in the abdomen. Received the Purple Heart Medal two times.

Norwalk High School, Class of ’66, yearbook photo

From The Norwalk Hour May 9, 1967

PFC Kaplan Wounded; One of Three Survivors

A Norwalk Marine is receiving care aboard a Naval hospital ship after suffering severe shrapnel wounds during the battle for Hill 861 in Vietnam on April 26. Marine PFC Gary Kaplan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kaplan of 7 Clara Drive, has written his parents that out of his entire platoon there were only three survivors after the battle. Kaplan himself received fragmentation wounds in both knees, both shoulders, and one arm. He was evacuated from the hill by helicopter and is now aboard the USS Sanctuary in Subic Bay, off the Philippine Islands. After receiving official notification from the Department of the Navy that their sun had “suffered fragmentation wounds on April 26,” Kaplan’s parents received no further information until May 6 when they received a letter from their son written aboard the hospital ship. Kaplan, a 1966 graduate of Norwalk High School, told of being one of the survivors of a battle which took the lives of all but two other men in his platoon. After being wounded he and one other Marine attempted to help some of the wounded. Finally, when his wounds make him unable to move about, Kaplan was assisted to a clearing by one of the other Marines and evacuated by helicopter to Phu Bai. Later he was transferred to the hospital ship. At Norwalk High School, Kaplan played football and participated in track events. He enlisted in the Marines on Good Friday of last year and was inducted in September. He had been in Vietnam since February 14.

From The Norwalk Hour June 23, 1967

The caption reads: “PURPLE HEART FOR NORWALKER – General Lewis Walt, former commander of the 3rd Amphibious Marines in Vietnam, is shown above presenting a Purple Heart Medal to Private First Class Gary Kaplan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kaplan of 7 Clara Drive, at the Norwalker’s hospital bed on the war front. PFC Kaplan, who has returned to duty with his unit in the fight against the Viet Cong, was wounded in the battle at Hill 861 in Vietnam. The Purple Heart, a decoration founded by George Washington for Revolutionary War soldiers, is awarded to veterans wounded in combat.

From The Norwalk Hour July 12, 1967

Marine Seeks Action, Wounded Second Time

Private First Class Gary P. Kaplan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kaplan of 7 Clara Drive has been wounded a second time, fighting the Viet Cong in Vietnam and is in a hospital in Guam. He was with a unit of the 9th Marines. His parents talked with him on the telephone Tuesday night and he told them he expects to be home in a month to six weeks. The Kaplans were notified that their son had been wounded by the following telegram from General Wallace M. Green Jr., Marine Commandant: “This is to confirm that your son, PFC Gary Kaplan, U.S. Marines, was injured July 2, 1967, in the vicinity of Quang Tri, Republic of Vietnam. He sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen from rifle fire during an operation. He is presently receiving treatment at the U.S. Navy Hospital in Guam. His condition and prognosis are good. Your anxiety is realized and you can be assured that he is receiving the best of care. Mail may be addressed to him at the U.S. Naval Hospital, FPO San Francisco, California, 96630.” PFC Kaplan had spent some time in a hospital from wounds in the arms and legs over a month ago, also at Quang Tri. When he was discharged from the hospital, he reportedly hitchhiked his way back to the center of operations to join his Marine unit.

From The Norwalk Hour July 25, 1967

PFC Gary Kaplan On Mend In Long Island

PFC Gary Kaplan, U.S. Marines, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kaplan, 7 Clara Drive, who was wounded in the stomach by a sniper’s bullet in Vietnam two weeks ago, has been flown from a hospital on Guam to St. Albans Naval Hospital on Long Island for treatment. It is the second wound for the Norwalk Marine. Only two months earlier, he was hit by shrapnel in the leg and arms, treated at a field hospital and he hitchhiked back to his front line outfit for further duty.


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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