William T. Perkins, Jr., who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in 1967, was born 10 August 1947 in Rochester, New York. In elementary school he moved with his family to California and graduated from James Monroe High School, Sepulveda, California, in 1965.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve 27 April 1966 and was discharged to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps 6 July 1966.
Upon completion of recruit training with the 2d Recruit Training Battalion Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, he was promoted to private first class 22 September 1966. Transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, he underwent individual combat training with the 3d Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment.
From October 1966 to January 1967, he served as a photographer with Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, California. He was promoted to lance corporal 1 January 1967. For the next four months, LCpl Perkins was a student at the Motion Picture Photography, U.S. Army Signal Center and School, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. In May 1967, he was transferred back to Headquarters Battalion, Barstow, California.
In July 1967, LCpl Perkins served as a photographer with Service Company, Headquarters Battalion, 3d Marine Division and was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam. He was promoted to corporal 1 August 1967. While serving as a combat photographer with Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division during Operation Medina, he was killed in action on 12 October 1967.
A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Vietnam War Medal of Honor