Silver Star for local Marine who gave all.
Henry H. Persons was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He attended schools there and followed his academic success into college.
Persons decided to serve and enlisted in the Marines and went to Vietnam as a First Lieutenant with Delta Co. 1st Bn. 5th Marines. During fierce combat he was wounded and eventually died on the battle field.
His Silver Star citation reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant Henry H. Persons, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as Platoon Commander of the 106-mm. Recoilless Rifle Platoon, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, 1st Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 1 February 1968, elements of the First Battalion became heavily engaged with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force and sustained numerous casualties. Upon being informed of the situation, First Lieutenant Persons quickly organized a reaction force and unhesitatingly led the Marines to the assistance of the besieged unit. As the reaction force neared the friendly unit's location, it came under a heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire. Disregarding his own safety, First Lieutenant Persons skillfully deployed his men and fearlessly moved across the fire-swept area, encouraging the Marines and directing their fire. Suddenly, an enemy mortar round exploded near the Marines' position, seriously wounding First Lieutenant Persons. Despite his painful injuries, he steadfastly refused medical treatment and skillfully instructed his radio operator in the procedures for requesting counter-mortar fire. Resolutely encouraging those around him, he ably informed the battalion's rear area of the tactical situation and continued to direct his men until he succumbed to his wounds. His superb leadership and resolute determination inspired all who served with him and were instrumental in the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Person's upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Henry H. Persons is on the Vietnam Wall, panel 36E, line 58.