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Gerald Claude McKeen

Gerald Claude McKeen
U.S. Navy
Sac City native Gerald Claude McKeen joined the Navy in March 1965. He trained as a medic and achieved the rank of Hospitalman (HN). McKeen was sent to Southeast Asia in May 1966 and was assigned to a Marine unit as a corpsman. He served with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, in the 1st Marine Division. On September 24, 1966, while participating in Operation Prairie in the Quang Tri Province, his unit was attacked by North Vietnamese forces. The unit received incoming mortar, machinegun, and sniper fire. At the onset HN McKeen was wounded, yet he continued to crawl from man to man and administer medical treatment. He was severely wounded several times throughout the three hour engagement. Despite his injuries HN McKeen continued to try and save his fellow comrades. He eventually crawled the 50 meters back to the company command post where he succumbed to his wounds. For his actions under fire he was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism. HN McKeen was 22 years old at the time of his death. His body was returned to Iowa and buried at the Cory Grove Cemetery in Sac City.
City of EntrySac City
Conflict/Time PeriodVietnam War
Service Location
Separation StatusKilled In Action (KIA)
Specialty/RateHospital Corpsman
Specific Jobs