PLEASE HELP: Operation Remember Project is Searching for a Photo of Sgt. James R. Dorsey Jr. From Clements

April 29, 2016

searchingSt Mary’s Co. had a total of 11 men who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The Operation Remember Project has recovered photos of them all except for SGT  JAMES R DORSEY JR.

James was from Clements, MD and died on Apr 26, 1969 while serving with  the 101 Abn B CO 158TH Avn Bn LANCERS.  A Roman Catholic, Married, African American he attended local schools before joining the Army at age 18. He was laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery Sec 53 site 374e

He was survived by his wife Widow Elizabeth Dorsey of Brandywine( formerly Elizabeth Proctor of Brandywine). They may have had children but have no information to confirm it.
His father,  James R. Dorsey Sr..  of Clements died 1/11/2004 and arrangements were made by BRONFIELT FUNERAL HOME.

His siblings names are listed below but we have not been able to locate any of them

4 sisters:


3 brothers:



The account of his death was reported in the Baltimore Sun.

The Enterprise or Beacon were the local newspapers at the time but no microfilm of these publications has been found and therefore no additional information.

We have no other information available and are trying to locate anyone who may have known him or his family.

We have located some of the men who service with him.

He’s how they remember him…

From Steve Brownell:

SSGT Dorsey was a very experienced crew chief. Of those I had flown with, he was by far the most conscientious; a real professional.  SSGT James Dorsey lost his life thirty some years ago on a hill, but he has never been far from my memory. He was a great soldier and leader, an example to all his, fellow crew chiefs.

From Russ Balisok:

Sergeant Dorsey was in my platoon.  I had contact with him at Ft. Carson, and I learned that he had enlisted in the army as a means of bettering his life and his family.  He was certainly the most ambitious (in every good sense of the word) and very bright.  He had been consistently promoted ahead of his peers, and I suspect, by example, showed other enlisted men how to soldier.  April 26, 1969 was the most difficult of my life, and that still holds true today.  Sergeant Dorsey was killed, Brownell and his crew spent the night on the LZ.
I have often wondered how Dorsey’s family fared.

 From Bruce Nesmith:

 I remember Jim Dorsey as a quiet person. I remember him mostly from Ft. Carson where he was one of the early arrivals.  I bunked next to him in our first barracks at Carson when we were a flight platoon with no aircraft, and a company in name only. He was older than most of us and always seemed self confident and sure of himself.  Dorsey was well spoken, and a religious man.  He read his bible regularly, and attended church on Sunday while the rest of us were fighting hangovers.
Jim was a career soldier.  He had acquired his Sergeant’s stripes the hard way – not as an instant E-5 out of school.  I don’t know how long he had been in the Army, but he had re-upped for huey school as a step up in his career –  I don’t know what he was before.  He wasn’t a hero type, just a solid professional.  A quiet leader and role model, he provided me with an example of what was possible.  He was without a doubt the best soldier in our group in the early days.  He helped those of us new to the army to understand the system without putting us down or blowing a lot of smoke. His goal was to come home to his family.  He told me that his move to aviation (with it’s guaranteed Vietnam tour) was a fast track to promotion, and that a promotion and flight pay would allow him to better support his family.  He was dedicated to his wife and kids – wife pregnant or a new born just as we shipped out,  I think.  I usually remember him lying on his bunk in the barracks at Carson reading letters from his wife and showing pictures of his family to us. He didn’t participate in the general hell raising with the rest of us, but he had a good sense of humor and put up with our wild antics in the barracks without complaint.  That’s not to say that he would not participate in the horse play or take a drink – he did and would; but he was more mature and reserved about it.  Jim Dorsey’s loss was a shock to me as he was the first of the original CE group that I knew well to be KIA, and the first that I was close to.

If you can provide any additional information please email:

Jim Gerity at

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