James Alan Norris

James Alan Norris
U.S. Marine Corps
Lance Corporal [E-3]
James Alan Norris, known by his fellow Marines as Spanky, was killed in August 1969. As a young man he was a member of the Grandview Lutheran Church in Des Moines. He graduated from East High School in the class of 1968. Norris joined the Marine Corps in the summer after graduation. He completed multiple trainings and then was sent to South Vietnam in January 1969. LCPL Norris was assigned to I Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines stationed southwest of Danang. He commonly was the point man during combat patrols. On August 13, 1969, while leading the way for his platoon, NVA forces fired upon LCPL Norris and his fellow Marines. He was wounded several times, yet continued to get back up and continue fighting the enemy. Ultimately he was hit a third and final time. Four other Marines were killed during the engagement, several others were wounded. The 19-year-old’s body was returned to Iowa and buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Pleasant Hill. Norris was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on the day he was killed.
City of EntryDes Moines
Conflict/Time PeriodVietnam War
Service Location
Separation StatusKilled In Action (KIA)
Specific Jobs