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Michael Edward Hopkins
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Birth: Dec. 23, 1944
Death: Jul. 4, 1966

Michael's name is located on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall located in
Washington D.C.Panel 08E - - Line 129
The following is an excerpt taken from a copy of the Navy Times (dated1966)
Marine Hero's Mother To Accept Navy Cross
NORFOLK - The nations second highest decoration, awarded posthumously to a
Marine who used his body as a decoy to draw fire from his comrades, will be
presented to his mother Wednesday morning.
Mrs. Mary Perkins of 570 West Ocean View Ave. Will receive the Navy Cross
presented to her son Pfc. Michael E. Hopkins, who was killed inaction in South
Vietnam on July 4, 1966.Hopkins was an automatic rifleman in Company "K" of the
9th Marine Regiment. He died attempting to shield two fallen comrades by drawing
Vietcong fire upon himself.The company was on a search and destroy mission that
started early that morning moving from the southeast towards Thu Bon. At
about12:30pm the troops stopped to eat chow and sat around discussing the heat
and humidity as it was about 110 degrees that day Because it was the 4th of July
they talked about what they would be doing if they were home such as family
cookouts and firecrackers. At about 1:20pmthey picked up and began moving again.
Radio reports had stated that there were no Vietcong in the area, which proved
to be quite the contrary. The transition to battle was sudden and violent. As
they neared an abandoned airfield they were ambushed by two VC battalions and
encountered heavy enemy fire from small arms, machine guns and57mm. Recoil less
rifles from a numerically superior Vietcong force the citation says. A 57mm
shell fired into the Marine columns hitting one of their tracked landing
vehicles. The rest of the ambush party opened up with mortars, machine guns and
small arms. The initial burst killed the crew chief of the track vehicle and two
other Marines had been wounded. Pfc. Hopkins immediately ran through the hail of
gunfire to aid the injured crew the citation stated. After he had helped remove
the injured men Hopkins and three other Marines were sent forward to give
covering fire while the injured men were taken to the rear. As ammunition got
low, Hopkins dashed across open ground to a supply point, picked up ammunition
and dashed back. He did this six times,through constant heavy fire. On the sixth
trip his squad leader was wounded and Hopkins again exposed himself to the
murderous fire to give first aid. He was engaged in this when he noticed a
corpsman attempting to reach him. He immediately jumped up to deliver covering
fire, permitting the corpsman to reach the wounded Marine. Seconds after the
corpsman reached the location an enemy rifle grenade exploded nearby killing the
squad leader and wounding the corpsman."Realizing that the enemy fire was too
intense for anyone to come to their aid, Pfc. Hopkins, in a final valiant act of
complete self-sacrifice, deliberately exposed himself in an effort to direct
attention away from the wounded, absorbing with his own body the full force of
the deadly enemy fire. Through his extraordinary loyalty and initiative in the
face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from further injury and
possible loss of life,thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United
States Marine Corps. And the United States Naval Service." The citation says.
Hopkins was ordered to active duty in February 1963 for basic training at Parris
Island S.C.He was shipped to Vietnam in November 1963.His first tour was with
the Navy Task Force 77, operating off the coast of Vietnam.He returned to the
United States in December 1964.In July 1965 he joined " K "Company of the 3rd
Battalion 9th Marines 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam and a year later gave his
life in the action which earned him the Navy Cross. The medal is second only to
the Medal of Honor. " He gallantly gave his life for his country." The citation
says.
Excerpt of Operation Macon - July 4, 1966 Obtained from George Lepre, Co.
A, 2nd Bn., 4th Inf.
On July 4, 1966 Company K of 3/9/3 advanced from the southeast.Through the
morning and early afternoon, the most unpleasant aspect of the operation was the
oppressive heat.
"The transition to battle was sudden and violent. Company K, pushing to the Thu
Bon, entered a VC ambush position. At 1520, VC grenade launcher teams fired into
the Marine column, knocking out one of the amphibian tractors supporting the
company. Simultaneously, the rest of the ambush party opened up with mortars,
machine guns and small arms.The initial burst killed the crew chief of one of
the vehicles and two other Marines were wounded
"Company K's situation remained tenuous for the next two hours?..(K)Company held
on, taking advantage of the cover afforded hedgerows and bamboo groves that
separated the rice paddies. Seven more Marines were dead, another 14 were
wounded, and another tractor was out of commission.Heavy machine gun fire drove
off evacuation helicopters."
Eventually, I Company, 3/9, came to K Company's aid. Also, air strikes and
artillery fired on the enemy. Communist losses were described as50 killed by
artillery confirmed, 25 additional estimated. Other estimates ranged from 12 to
62 enemy dead.

 
 
Burial:
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Norfolk
Norfolk City
Virginia, USA
 
Created by: SWF
Record added: Feb 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34042072
Michael Edward Hopkins
Added by: Kay Hutto Hull
 
Michael Edward Hopkins
Added by: SWF
 
Michael Edward Hopkins
Added by: SWF
 
 
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An honor finding you again and visiting your memorial
- Kay Hutto Hull
 Added: Jan. 25, 2013
Thank you for your great sacrifice in preserving our country's freedoms. I will honor you in the only way that I can . . . by remembering you always. May you rest in peace.
- Charles A. Lewis
 Added: Oct. 30, 2012
 
 
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