In Memory

Patrick Purdin

Patrick Lawrence Purdin was a(n) Hospital Corpsman for the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. He died on November 22, 1969 at the age of 22 from small arms fire.


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01/16/15 06:43 PM #1    

Don Northcutt

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Hospital Corpsman Third Class Patrick L. Purdin (NSN: B-845700), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Corpsman with Company B, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 November 1969, while Company B was conducting a search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province, the Marines encountered a large North Vietnamese Army force concealed in well-fortified bunkers located on high ground to the Marines' front. The initial bursts of fire from the enemy positions wounded both of the Marines walking in the point position for the company. When he saw that the two wounded men were lying in an open area approximately forty meters forward of the closest friendly troops and that they were unable to escape the enemy fire raking the area around them, Hospitalman Purdin unhesitatingly left his relatively secure position and, with complete disregard for his own safety, ran directly into the face of the enemy fire as he crossed the forty meters of fire-swept terrain to reach his helpless comrades. Although completely exposed in a cross-fire and an easy target for enemy riflemen, he reassured the casualties and rapidly administered lifesaving medical aid. Taking advantage of the precarious position of the corpsman and his patients, several enemy soldiers began encircling them in an attempt to capture all three. Undaunted by the enemy movement and the fire directed at him, Hospitalman Purdin continued his lifesaving efforts, boldly protecting the casualties from further injury by shielding them from the enemy fire with his own body. Alertly observing several North Vietnamese Army soldiers crawling toward his position through the tall grass and realizing that capture of the two wounded men would result in their deaths, Hospitalman Purdin courageously drew his 45 caliber pistol and killed one enemy soldier when he was only a few feet away, but before he could fire on the others, he was mortally wounded by retaliatory fire from the remaining hostile soldiers who had now surrounded him. By his courage, heroic initiative, and selfless concern for his fellowmen, Hospitalman Purdin inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. -

01/16/15 07:14 PM #2    

Don Northcutt

08/13/15 10:02 PM #3    

Margo Morgan (Gripp)

I just came across these posts about Pat Purdin.  Wow, a hero in our graduating class!  One of many others, I'm sure.  Thank you for posting the announcement about the Silver Star and the photo, Don.  Is that Arlington?

08/14/15 10:48 PM #4    

Don Northcutt

Margo, this is Arlington. Pat's gravesite is near the Amphitheater, Audie Murphy's gravesite is not far away, and the USS Maine Memorial is close by. All in all, it is in a prestigious location, but I would rather hear him laugh.

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