Gay, William Ellis, Jr., 1LT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1969-1970, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
Service Years
1967 - 1970


First Lieutenant

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

27 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Atlanta, GA
Last Address
Atlanta, GA

Casualty Date
May 30, 1970
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Westview Cemetery - Atlanta, Georgia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
10W 121

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1969-1970, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment/E Company
  1969-1970, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)/Operation Toan Thang 42 / Rock Crusher
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Georgia
  1963-1967, University of Georgia
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Lt. Gay was a good natured patient officer who had not been in recon very long. I usually rode on the lead jeep with him and sat behind the post mounted machine gun. That day another guy for some reason I do not know asked to take my place. Lt. Gay, I think of you from time to time and know the good lord loves kind decent men like you. Hope to see you later, Randy
Posted by: Randy Browning, Relationship: We served together
The Bronze Star medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart were posthumously awarded to 1Lt. William Ellis Gay, Jr., Company E, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, United States Army.
First Lieutenant William Ellis Gay, Jr. was born at Walter Reed Hospital May 21, 1945. His father was a major in the United States Army. His family returned to Atlanta in 1945 and he grew up in the Collier Hills neighborhood.

As a child, he would come and play at Villa Clare (named for Lt. Gay's Great Grandmother), which is now Shepherd's Spinal Center at 2020 Peachtree Rd. Lt. Gay attended Christ the King School and completed course work in 1958; attended Marist School and graduated 1963. After graduating from the University of Georgia 1967, Lt. Gay joined the Army and went to basic training at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Upon completion, he was accepted into the officer candidate school at Ft. Benning and graduated as a 2nd Lt. Infantry Officer, class no.56, March 1969.

After stateside duty, he received orders assigning him to the 25th Infantry Division then stationed in Chu Chi, Vietnam. Lt. Gay arrived in Vietnam in 1969 and became a platoon leader for Company E, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
On May 30, 1970, Lt. Gay, the reconnaissance platoon leader, was in his jeep and charged with providing security for a convoy. At approximately 3:20 P.M. the convoy received enemy rocket propelled grenade fire and Lt. Gay was killed by enemy fire. A memorial service was conducted by his unit in Vietnam and thereafter his remains were shipped home and now lie in West View Cemetery.
Lt. Gay's devotion to duty, and that of his fallen comrades was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army. He bravely gave his life for his country.
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