The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC James Thomas Pruitt, who died in the service of his country on April 30th, 1966 in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Accidental Homicide. At the time of his death James was 20 years of age. He was from Richlands, Virginia. James is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 07E, Line 14.
The decorations earned by PFC James Thomas Pruitt include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
From his obituary:
The war in Vietnam claimed its first Richlands fighting man. The family of PFC James T Pruitt, 20, of Richlands, received Sunday that their son had been accidentally shot to death the previous morning in Vietnam.
Pruitt wrote to relatives here on April 26 that he expected to "go into combat in a few days." He left Richlands three weeks ago and had been in Vietnam for a week and two days before being fatally wounded. He had been in the service since November 1965.
Pruitt was the brother of Georgia Pruitt of Richlands with whom he resided. In addition to Georgia he is survived by three brothers: Roger Lee in the military stationed in Arkansas; John and Rufus of Jewell Ridge and his mother Mrs Mary Hagerman of Jolo, West Virginia. Also surviving is one half-brother Curtis Pruitt of Jewell Ridge.
James is buried in the Smith Cemetery on Smith Ridge. The Reverands Grat Morton and John Payne resided with military services conducted at graveside.