Jerry Lee Danay

1949 - 1971

Vietnam War

Their Story

Jerry Lee Danay was born December 5, 1949, in Moline, IL, to John L. and Helen Danay. He graduated from Alleman High School in 1969. He had been an Argus carrier-salesman but was most recently employed at Servus Rubber Company, Rock Island, before entering the service. Jerry entered the Army in February 1970 and was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO., and Ft. Ord, California.[1] He went to Vietnam October 10, 1970.[2] He was just 21 when he was killed by hostile fire in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam on March 12, 1971. He was part of C Co, 1st Bn, 11th Infantry assigned to 5th Infantry Division Mechanized. His service occupation was light weapons infantry.[3]

From the U.S. Army Center of Military History – Vietnam War Campaigns
Counteroffensive, Phase VII, 1 July 1970 – 30 June 1971 of the Vietnam War
Fighting continued in Cambodia during early February before and after South Vietnam began its U.S.-aided drive in Laos, Lam Son 719, the most significant operation during this campaign.[4] Lam Son 719 was conducted out of I Corps by Vietnamese troops with U.S. fire and air support. Their objective was to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail and to destroy enemy bases at Techepone, Laos. The operation consisted of four phases. In Phases I, called Operation DEWEY CANYON II, the 1st Brigade, U.S. 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) occupied the Khe Sanh area and cleared Route No. 9 up to the Laotian border.

From the Combat After Action Report:

12 Mar 71[5]
3/C/1-11, 121150H, XD750489 (10km N FSB Style) While moving to check out the radar sightings, had a security element received small arms fire and 1 RPG round from the west. Small arms, artillery and 81 mm mortar fire were employed, and ARA was on alert. There were 1 U.S. KIA and 1 U.S. WIA. The unit found 1 rucksack and some fresh trails. A tracker-dog was employed and at XD742493 found footprints of 12-14 personnel moving west in the last 2-3 hours. The trail was followed with a patrol.

U.S. Convoy, 120700H, XD952428 (2.5 km NE FSB Shepherd). The convoy moving E on QL-9 received 3 B-40 rounds from an unknown direction resulting in 1 U.S. KIA and 1 WIA.  Two C-49 tankers were immobilized. Small arms fire was returned, and artillery employed. One squad from 4-3 Inf was sent in an attempt to block the enemy with negative results.

3/A/4-3, 121705H, XD899425 (4km NE Khe Sanh). The unit found 25 fighting positions with overhead cover and well camouflaged. All were 3’x4’x3’ and showed signs of being occupied for about a week. There were many concentrated rice wrappers in the area and an improvised shovel. There was 1 Chicom grenade, 2 storage positions (6’x6’x2’), 1 block (estimated 1 lb) pf PETNA and a trail leading north from the river to the top of a ridgeline. Blood trails were also in the area. It appeared a platoon size element had left the area quickly. Five graves each with 1 OD sack with 1 body, believed killed by small arms fire, were found. The personnel were dead for approximately 3 days. An EOD team was requested to destroy the material and positions. Those who died on March 12 were Robert Walter Thorne, Jimmy Odeneal and Jerry Lee Danay.

In Jerry’s unit, 1-11 Inf, 13 were KIA between Jan 1971 and Apr 7, 1971 during the Dewy Canyon II / Lam Son 719. 120 were WIA. Of those WIA, 32 were evacuated.[6]

For more information on the operation during which Jerry Lee Danay was killed, visit RVN Casualties (

In November 1982, Jerry’s parents and brother attended the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., where 57,939 dead and missing service members are memorialized and honored, including their son and brother, Jerry Lee Danay.[7] The names of the dead are engraved in black granite, listed in chronological order of their death. Before the dedication, Jerry’s parents and brother marched in the Illinois delegation of the parade, attended Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, and sat in Washington Cathedral where they listened to the names of all the war dead.

To see Jerry’s name on the Vietnam War Memorial, visit:


[1] The Rock Island Argus (Rock Island, Illinois) · 15 Mar 1971, Mon · Page 2, Downloaded on Mar 10, 2022

[2] Quad-City Times from Davenport, Iowa · 1

[3] NARA – AAD – Display Full Records – The Coffelt Database, December 2005 Update (

[4] Vietnam War Campaigns

[5] Lam Son 719 (

[6] 1st Brigade 5th Infantry CAAR Inclosures

[7] The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois) · 21 Nov 1982, Sun · Page 139 – Jerry Lee Danay – parents visit Vietnam Memorial