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James Lewis Hatcher

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial

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James Lewis Hatcher
1951-1970

“Let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

John F. Kennedy

James Lewis Hatcher was born on December 16, 1951, in Oak Hill, West Virginia, the son of James H. and Myrtle Parsley Hatcher. James had two siblings, Ronnie and Karen.

James Hatcher grew up in Sundial. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and was talented at basketball and football. James attended Marsh Fork High School, but he felt the education he was receiving would not equip him to realize his dream of becoming a soldier. At the age of 17, James persuaded his parents to sign papers that allowed him to join the army. His parents first made him promise to finish high school while he was in the military.
James Lewis Hatcher with his mother
James Lewis Hatcher with his mother

James Lewis Hatcher with his sister
James Lewis Hatcher with his sister
In January 1969, James Hatcher reported to Fork Knox for basic training. He then took advance infantry training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. After training, James was stationed in Germany, where he kept his promise to his parents and finished his high school education.

Army Specialist 4 James Hatcher returned home for a 30-day leave in December 1969 and upon his return to Germany volunteered for assignment in Vietnam. He began his tour of duty in Vietnam in July and served with Company A, 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 23rd Infantry Division. James was killed in action on November 13, 1970, during a combat mission.
Letter of condolence from Gen. Westmoreland
Letter of condolence from Gen. Westmoreland, November 18, 1970

James Hatcher grave
James Hatcher grave
The Hatcher family held James’s funeral service at Missionary Baptist Church and he was buried at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens in Prosperity.

In 1971, the commanding officer at the Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Station in Beckley presented a bronze medal, awarded to James Hatcher for “his untiring efforts and professional ability in the obtaining of outstanding results,” to his parents Mr. and Mrs. James H. Hatcher.
Certificate for Bronze Star Medal
Certificate for Bronze Star Medal

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West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


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