Eddie D. Gant (1968/03/18)
On March 18, 1968, Eddie's journey back to his southern roots became permanent.
Eddie Dean Gant was born on the second day of the year 1949, in Covington, Tennessee. His mother's name was Margaret. Eddie, his brother Thomas and sister Gwendolin grew up in the greater Memphis area until 1959, when his parents relocated to Watsonville. Eddie attended local Pajaro Valley grammar schools and in the fall of 1963, enrolled in Watsonville High School. While in high school, he became an active member of the Future Farmers of America. In 1966 Gant moved to Grenada, Mississippi, where his grandparents lived, and transferred into Grenada High School.
Eddie Gant left high school in March 1967 to enlist in the US Marine Corps. His basic training took him to Paris Island, South Carolina, followed by additional instruction at Camp Pendleton, California, and Camp Jejune, North Carolina. In October 1967 he completed his marine rifleman training and was sent to Vietnam.
Upon arrival in Vietnam Private First Class Gant was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division, which was stationed near Da Nang.
“By fall of 1967, the 1st Marines were operating permanently in the northern sector of the I Corps tactical zone. The following winter the communists launched their all-out Tet New Year Offensive. Hue, the old imperial capital, was overrun by the enemy. Between 31 January and 2 March 1968, and elements of the 1st Marines, along with other US Marine and South Vietnamese units, fought to regain control of the city. The battle was characterized by bitter street fighting and hand-to-hand combat.”
On March 18, 1968, Lance Corporal Eddie Dean Gant, fighting in the vicinity of Hue in Thua Thien Province, was killed in action. Eddie's remains were returned to Grenada, Mississippi, and buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.
(VVMW; VVVW; WHSM; WRP March 23, 1968; Global Security. Org, 1st Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/1mar.htm, [16 September 2008])