JSU Honors Fallen Vietnam War Soldiers
by Buffy Lockette
More than 58,000 American soldiers, including 1,208 Alabamians, died during the Vietnam War. The Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees passed a resolution on Oct. 19 honoring the six fallen soldiers who were students or graduates of the university.
With a generous gift from Trustee Clarence W. Daugette III, a 1974 business graduate of the university, six offices will be named in memory of the soldiers in Rowe Hall – home to the JSU ROTC program. All six soldiers were involved in ROTC on campus and went on to serve in the US Army.
The honorees include:
- Lt. Charles William Davis – The Tallassee, Ala., native was a standout on the Gamecock football team and had planned to return to campus to finish his degree after the war. He served as a tank unit commander and died in the Dinh Tuong province of South Vietnam on October 6, 1967 at age 24. His commendations included the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The “Lieutenant Charles William Davis Office” will be named in his honor.
- Lt. Grady E. McBride III – The Gadsden, Ala., native graduated from JSU in 1968. He served as a petroleum products supply officer and died on June 5, 1970 at age 24 in the Binh Dinh province of South Vietnam. His commendations included the Purple Heart. The “Lieutenant Grady E. McBride III Office” will be named in his honor.
- Capt. Donald Franklin McMillan – Native to Hopkinsville, Ky., Capt. McMillan graduated from JSU in 1961. He died in an unknown province of South Vietnam on April 2, 1966 at age 27. His commendations included the Purple Heart. The “Captain Donald Franklin McMillan Office” will be named in his honor.
- Capt. Jerry Wayne McNabb – The Gadsden, Ala., native graduated from JSU in 1959. The helicopter pilot died in an unknown province in South Vietnam on June 27, 1966 at age 29. The “Captain Jerry W. McNabb Office Suite” will be named in his honor.
- Capt. Richard Charles Miller – The Jacksonville, Ala., native graduated from JSU in 1965. He served as an infantry unit commander and died in the Quang Nam province of South Vietnam on September 3, 1969 at age 27. His commendations included the Silver Star and Bronze Star. The “Captain Richard Charles Miller Office” will be named in his honor.
- Capt. Edward Davis Pierce – The Homewood, Ala., native graduated from JSU in 1962. He served as a tactical intelligence staff officer and died in the Long Khanh province in South Vietnam on March 13, 1966 at age 27. His commendations included the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The “Captain Edward Davis Pierce Office” will be named in his honor.
“It has been 50 years since the Vietnam War, which affected all of our lives,” said Clarence W. Daugette, III. “This was something that was very close to my heart, and I am proud we are able to honor the sacrifices of these soldiers who gave their lives for their country.”
Daugette is also sponsoring the naming of the office suite in Rowe Hall in honor of his father, Col. Clarence William Daugette, Jr. The late colonel served in the US Army for 40 years and was a decorated World War II veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Awards to outstanding students are given in his name at the US Military Academy and JSU. He was a 1925 graduate of JSU and served on the Board of Trustees. The “Colonel Clarence William Daugette Office Suite” in Rowe Hall will be named in his honor.
For more information on naming opportunities on campus, contact University Advancement at 256-782-5003.
Photo credit: The above photos were downloaded from the virtual Wall of Faces organized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The nonprofit organization manages the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, which includes the names of JSU's fallen heroes.