Terry L. Kelly (1971/06/17)

Terry was the last county resident to have his name inscribed on the Vietnam Wall.

Terry Leon Kelly was born in Tennessee on October 28, 1950. His obituary listed his parents as Walt Autry of Santa Cruz and Margie Autry of Sweet Home, Oregon. His brothers, Bill and Rick Autry, and sisters, Lynn and Theresa Autry, continued to live in Santa Cruz. In 1968, while a student at Soquel High School, he won the American Legion oratorical contest. He went on to graduate in June 1969.

Kelly enlisted in the US Army in 1969 and upon completion of his basic training received advanced individual training as a medic. On July 18, 1970 he arrived in Vietnam and was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division operating in Phuoc Tuy province.

On June 17, 1971, Private First Class Terry Leon Kelly was killed by what the military described as accidental self-destruction. While the details surrounding Terry's death are not available, this term typically describes accidental deaths that occur when troops fire their weapons or set off explosives by accident. Terry's body was recovered and returned to Florida for burial.

(VVMW; SCSn June 24, 1971 1:3)

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010.
Date: Undated
Type: OBIT
Coverage: 1970s
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson and The Museum of Art & History.
Identifier: RO-KELLY

Citation

Nelson, Robert L. “Terry L. Kelly (1971/06/17).” Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010. SCPL Local History. https://history.santacruzpl.org/omeka/items/show/4932. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.