The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*PERKINS, WILLIAM THOMAS, JR.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S.
Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and
Date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 12 October 1967. Entered service
at: San Francisco, Calif. Born: 10 August 1947, Rochester, N.Y.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving as a combat photographer attached to Company C. During
Operation MEDINA, a major reconnaissance in force southwest of Quang Tri, Company C made
heavy combat contact with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force estimated at
from 2 to 3 companies. The focal point of the intense fighting was a helicopter landing
zone which was also serving as the Command Post of Company C. In the course of a strong
hostile attack, an enemy grenade landed in the immediate area occupied by Cpl. Perkins and
3 other marines. Realizing the inherent danger, he shouted the warning, "Incoming
Grenade" to his fellow marines, and in a valiant act of heroism, hurled himself upon
the grenade absorbing the impact of the explosion with his body, thereby saving the lives
of his comrades at the cost of his life. Through his exceptional courage and inspiring
valor in the face of certain death, Cpl. Perkins reflected great credit upon himself and
the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly
gave his life for his country.