09 May 2013

NMAM: William Raymond Prom

 At just 20 years of age 18 December 18 December on  18 DecemberMay has been designated by Congress as National Military Appreciation Month. As such, Genealogical Gems is featuring a veteran or current member of the military each day. Yesterday, I first heard of William "Billy" Raymond Prom when I received an email from the PA General Assembly concerning HB 349. HB349 designates the bridge located over Washington's Landing and the Allegheny River, commonly known as the 31st Street Bridge, in Pittsburgh,  as the William Raymond Prom Memorial Bridge.

Prom enlisted in the US Marine Corps reserve on 8 December 1967. He received his basic training at Parris Island in South Carolina and his combat training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before being sent. to Vietnam in June 1968. While in Vietnam, he served as an ammunition man,
assistant gunner, machine gun team leader and a machine gun squad leader. On 1 September 1969, he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Lance Cpl. Prom was returning from Operation Taylor Common on 9 February 1969, when his unit came under attack from the North Vietnamese Army. His platoon became separated and several Marines were wounded in the attack. Lance Cpl. Prom immediately assumed control of  one of the machine guns and returned fire, disregarding his own personal safety. His actions gave the medics the time they needed to administer to  the wounded men. Lance Cpl. Prom advanced, continuing to fire. His actions gave his men time to regroup. At some point during the exchange. he  himself was injured. He continues to push on and fight until he was mortally wounded. His actions inspired his men to continue and  launch an assault which ultimately destroyed. the enemy.

For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign. He is included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 32W, Row 2. In addition this bill - HB 349 - once passed will name the bridge commonly known as 31st Street Bridge in his hometown of Pittsburgh is now designated as the William Raymond Prom Memorial Bridge.

Prom was born in Pittsburg in 1949 to Fred Charles and Finbola Prom. He had one brother Fred Charles Prom and one sister Clara Prom. They lived in Reserve Township, where he attended the the Millville High School, where most people knew him as Butch.

He was laid to rest in the Allegheny County Memorial Park. Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Find A Grave
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.