Corporal William Thomas "Billy" Parker
81mm Mortar Platoon
Battalion Landing Team 2/26
Cpl Billy Parker's high school photo. Image courtesy of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Corporal William Thomas "Billy" Parker, Stockton, California.
Died in the intense mortar battle on LZ Margo in the DMZ, on September 16, 1968. He had celebrated his 20th birthday the day before.
Cpl Billy Parker Remembered
"Billy was one of my best buddies in Nam. We celebrated his birthday just before leaving Camp Carroll.
"Bill had been assigned to Hotel Company for as long as I could remember. He was radioman for Rene Santerre, who was the FO [Forward Observer] for the 81s.
"I was in 60's [60mm mortars] and Bill and I kind of hit it off.
"After landing at Margo we went out for what was supposed to be 3 days of patrols that turned out to be more like a week it seemed. When we got back to Margo, we had the whole battalion there. And that's when the shit hit the fan.
"Bill was doing a water run for us and got caught down at the stream. Anyone that was there knew the NVA already had the place staked out. The first round was fire-for-effect and it didn't stop.
"Bill has been in my prayers for years now and I think of him often. You would not have wanted a better friend than Cpl William Parker. My friend, continue to rest in peace."
Hotel Company, BLT 2/26