About William Thomas Perkins, Jr.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Corporal William Thomas Perkins, Jr. (MCSN: 2296240), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 12 October 1967, while serving as a combat photographer attached to Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action against an armed enemy in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. 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 two to three 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 Corporal Perkins and three 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, Corporal 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.
Action Date: October 12, 1967
Service: Marine Corps
Company: Company C
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Regiment: 1st Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF