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PFC William Dempsey "Bugsy/Billy/Thunder" Thornton, Jr
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Birth: Aug. 19, 1946
Westchester County
New York, USA
Death: Jan. 28, 1967
Ben Luc, Vietnam

In Memory of ..... PFC William Demsey Thornton, Jr.
*** Private First Class Thornton was a rifleman with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment 199th Infantry Brigade. On January 28, 1968, he was on a search and destroy mission 20 miles south of Saigon in Long An Province, South Vietnam. He was recovering an enemy boat when the boat sank and he drowned. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

WILLIAM DEMSEY THORNTON - Army PFC E3 199th Light Infantry Brigade
Age: 20
Race: Negro
Unit: Company D, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade - In the Coffelt Casualty Database Base He is listed as being in A Company
William Dempsey Thornton Jr.was in A Company 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade there was no D Company in 1967. D Company was added in Jan. 1968 just before TET.
Marital Status: Married - Betty J. Thornton of Ossining,NY. Parents: Father, William Dempsey Thornton (1922 - Died Jan. 18, 1961) and Mother, Blanche L. Gradden Edwards (1926 - Died May 19, 2011) in sycamore, GA..

***** Mother's Obit:
Blanche L. Edwards, 85, a longtime resident of Tarrytown died on May 19, 2011 in Sycamore, GA. She was a loving mother of Helen S. Bright (Norman), Dwight Brooks, Dwayne Edwards; grandmother of Harold Gayden, Jr., Shenita Gayden, Tracy Thornton, Edward N. Bright and William Bright.
She was a Gold Star Mother of William D. Thornton, Jr. who died in Vietnam in 1967. She was predeceased by her husband Percy Edwards and son Harold Gayden. Interment at Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, NY.
***** Father's Obit: Long Island national Cemetery.
William Dempsey Thornton - Birth: May 5,1922-Death:Jan. 18, 1961 - Plot: 2H o 466 Inscription: US ARMY PFC WW II

***** My uncle, George Stevenson served with William Thornton, or as he called him "Thunder" in Vietnam. My uncle luckily survived the war and talks about his friend "Thunder" all the time.
Thank You!

Name: William Dempsey Thornton, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company D, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 199th
Length of service 1 years
Casualty was on Jan 28, 1967
Date of Loss: 28 January 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 103617N 1064324E (XS885727)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Hostile, died while missing, GROUND CASUALTY
Panel 14E - Line 93

Body was not recovered

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

On January 28, 1967, PFC William D. Thornton, Jr. was a rifleman on a search and destroy mission in Long An Province, about 20 miles south of Saigon.

During the mission, PFC Thornton and another individual were ordered to carry a captured boat to the unit's pickup zone. After carrying the motor for 150 meters, the two men placed the motor in a sampan they had found.

The other individual left the area to retrieve gear he'd left behind and when he returned to the location, Thornton was in the middle of the stream going out with the tide.

Thornton was seen coming downstream in the sinking sampan. Two members of his unit attempted to pull him from the sinking sampan to shore with a rope.

He stood up in the boat to remove his web gear and in doing so, fell into the stream and was never seen again.

Extensive searches were made including shoreline, surface craft and divers, but no trace of Thornton was ever found.

He was declared dead, due to hostile causes, body not recovered.


Family links: 
  William Dempsey Thornton (1922 - 1961)
  Blanche L Edwards (1926 - 2011)
Note: Looking for hometown location of his Memorial Headstone.
Honolulu Memorial *
Honolulu County
Hawaii, USA
Plot: Courts of the Missing
*Cenotaph [?]
Created by: Eddieb
Record added: Dec 03, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62489435
PFC William Dempsey Bugsy/Billy/Thunder Thornton, Jr
Added by: Sherry SH
PFC William Dempsey Bugsy/Billy/Thunder Thornton, Jr
Added by: Eddieb
PFC William Dempsey Bugsy/Billy/Thunder Thornton, Jr
Added by: Eddieb
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- rw2009
 Added: Aug. 19, 2015

- Eddieb
 Added: Jan. 22, 2015

- Eddieb
 Added: Mar. 12, 2014
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