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Home Town New Bedford
Last Address Not Specified
Date of Passing Jul 07, 1989
Location of Interment Woodbine Cemetery - Oceanport, New Jersey
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity
Sergeant Major Gil Hendricks was a combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1948 shortly after his 17th birthday, but before entering the service he changed his enlistment to the U.S. Army in order to join the paratroopers. After basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Gil was assigned to the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment and shipped to Sendai, Japan where he completed Basic Airborne training at the 11th Airborne Division Jump School. With additional training at the 511th Airborne Signal School, Gil remained in Japan on occupation duty until 1949 when the 511th PIR returned to Camp Campbell, Kentucky.
Prior to the Korean War, Gil attended the Signal School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey then had a short assignment with the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell. However, before that unit was posted to Japan (then Korea), Gil was reassigned (circumstances unknown) to the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division and shipped off to Korea. Gil took part in the Summer and Fall offenses of 1951, earning the Silver Star, and the 2nd Winter offensive of 1951-52 as a platoon sergeant.
After the war, Gil was assigned to an Ordinance Training Battalion at Aberdeen Proving Ground as a field frist sergeant then off to Germany in Nurnberg with the 371st Armored Infantry Battalion (Merrell Barracks) and the U.S. Constabulary. This was followed by duty with the 324th Ordinance Group in New Jersey as a senior advisor. During this time Gil met and married his wife Frances (Fran) and they had their first two children, Lorelei and Gilbert.
Gil volunteered for Special Forces and was assigned to the 77th/7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg in January 1960 where he served as an instructor then team sergeant. Gil and Fran had their third child, Bryan, during this time.
While with the 7th SFGA, Gil volunteered for the White Star Mobile Training Teams and was posted to Laos in October 1961 where he trained, assisted, and advised the 13th Battalion d'Infantrie until April of the following year. In October 1962 Gil transferred to the 1st SFGA where he served as the Sergeant Major (T) for Detachment 330, Chief Advisor for the 31st VN SFGA (RVN), then NCOIC SAF-Asia Planning Group in Okinawa. Gil was awarded the Bronze Star during this time.
In 1965 Gil returned to the United States and was assigned to the 17th SFGA (organized as E Company, 12th SFGA in 1966) in Seattle, Washington and promoted to Sergeant Major (P). He received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious performance of duty as Chief Enlisted Advisor (Seattle Subgroup, U.S. Army Advisory Group, Washington) and remained with the 12th SFGA until he retired from active duty on 31 October 1968 after 20 years of service.
Gil and his family remained in Washington where he worked for Boeing in Everett then as the Data Processing Manager for the City of Edmunds. In 1979, after the last of their children had graduated from high school, Gil and Fran moved to Monmouth County, New Jersey, to the same town where they had met 26 years earlier. Gil died in 1989 and was interned at Woodbine Cemeterywith military honors. Fran died in 2011 and was laid to rest next to Gil.
I am proud of my father's service to our country. As kids, my sister, brother and I would prod him for stories about his service while he sipped his "Cup of Joe" at the breakfast table on Saturday mornings. We thought we would have many more years with him when he passed suddenly in 1989 at the age of 58. This profile is a tribute to our hero and was compiled using information from his service record.
If you are viewing this from your army.togetherweserved.com account and you knew my father, I hope you will share your memories using the "Tributes from Members" area on this profile, or contact me through my own profile, SP4 Bryan Hendricks. THANK YOU for your service.
Other Memories Chief Special Forces Advisor CO E, 12th SFGA CO E was formed from 17th SFGA in 1966. Received Army Commendation Medal in 1968 for meritorious performance of duty as Chief Enlisted Advisor.