James Wilson Harter






20theng armycommendation purple_heart










james_harter-dexterSpecialist 4 James Wilson Harter was born on May 16, 1947 to Mr. Henry W. and Mrs. Helen G. Carey Harter of Dexter, Michigan. James is a 1967 graduate of Dexter High School in Dexter, Michigan. He entered the Army on February 13, 1968 completing his Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He completed advanced training as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on June 14, 1968.

Specialist 4 Harter began his tour of duty in Binh Long Province, South Vietnam on July 13, 1968 as a Combat Engineer serving with B Company, 31st Engineering Battalion, 79th Engineering Group, 20th Engineering Brigade. Larry was killed during a fire-fight with two enemy platoons on May 12, 1969. According to an Ann Arbor News article, "he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism for "exceptionally valorous actions on May 12 while serving as a perimeter guard at Quang Loi Base Camp. Two enemy platoons launched a ground assault on the camp, ...he engaged the enemy with a heavy and accurate volume of automatic weapons fire...stalling the enemy and giving his comrades time to reinforce the perimeter line...despite his valiant efforts...an enemy round detonated inside his position instantly killing him." Specialist 4 Harter also earned the Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Campaign ribbon.

James Wilson Harter is survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother. Two of his brothers preceded him in death in 1961 and 1968. He lived 21 years, 11 months and 26 days. He is resting in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Dexter, Michigan. James' name is listed on the Vietnam Memorial in Ypsilanti Township under Dexter. His name also appears on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC on Panel 25W Line 070.

The Wall rubbing by John Kinzinger


View Name on Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC