James Wright’s photo was run in Life Magazine, "Vietnam: One Week's Dead" June 27, 1969. He was drafted 2 months after his older brother lost his life in Vietnam. Date of birth: 14 January 1948 Date tour began: 29 July 1968 Date of casualty: 31 May 1969 Home of record: Boring, Oregon Branch and Rank: Army Selective Service, Specialist Four, Field Artillery Operations and Intelligence Assistant Unit: Americal Division, 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery, B Battery Awards: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal Location of name on the Vietnam Wall: 23W, 34
Location of service: South Vietnam, Quang Ngai province Died through hostile action - small arms fire.
Schools Attended: Gresham High School Burial location: Willamette National Cemetery, Portland Memorials: Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington, DC), Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Portland), Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland), Fallen Hero Memorial Highway Marker, Gresham Heroes Memorial.
The Oregonian, Wednesday, June 4, 1969 6 Oregonians Die In War (excerpt) Spec. 4 James A. Wright, son of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Wright, route 1, box 900, Boring. Specialist James Wright was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. George Wright to die in Vietnam. George N. Wright, who volunteered for the Marine Corps, was killed May 21, 1967 at the age of 21. Specialist James Wright was killed May 31 by small arms fire near Chu Lai. Born in Portland he attended school in Portland and Orient, then was graduated from Gresham High School. He joined the Army in August, 1967 and went to Vietnam in July, 1968.
The Oregonian, Thursday, June 5, 1969 – FRONT PAGE War’s Cost High For Boring Family: They Plan Fight For Remaining Sons By James Kadera, staff writer BORING (Special) – With two sons killed in Vietnam, a Boring man and wife will attempt to keep their two remaining boys out of battle. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Wright said they will carry their fight through the offices of Gov. Tom McCall or U.S. Rep. Edith Green. Their oldest son, George N., a Marine, lost his life May 21, 1967. His brother, Army Spec. 4 James Wright was killed by enemy small arms fire last Saturday, May 31. Their brother, Dennis, 19, will take his Army draft physical June 23. If he passes and is inducted, his parents will ask that the Army not assign him to duty in Vietnam. Family Promises Fight “We will do everything we can,” the father said. “We don’t want another son in the service – at least not in Vietnam.” Dennis, married 10 days ago, is not their last son. Gary, 12, is still at home. The Wrights also have three daughters: Mrs. John (Sherrie) Hupala, 16, Orient; Mrs. Rodney (Priscilla) Meyer, 20, Portland, and Nancy, 9, at home. The children have four half brothers and sisters by an earlier marriage of Mrs. Wright. “We tried to keep Jimmy out of the service but we couldn’t,” Mrs. Wright said. He was drafted August 1967, and went to Vietnam last July. Only three weeks of war duty remained when he was killed. George spent 13 months in Vietnam, volunteered for a second turn of duty, and died only two weeks after returning to combat. Their father, a World War II Navy veteran, had hoped his sons would enlist in the Navy. However, George decided the Marine Corps was his branch, and his brother was drafted into the Army. George pitched for the varsity baseball team at Gresham high, and Jim hurled for the junior varsity. “When they were boys, we fooled around a lot with baseball. I guess that’s where they got their interest,” the father explained. Before George went to war, he bought a new glove and baseball shoes which he planned to use after leaving the Marines. U.S. Believed Right Both believed the United States was right in fighting the Vietnam war, their father said. George is buried in Willamette National Cemetery. Sometime next week (funeral arrangements are incomplete) Jim will be laid in a grave above his brother at his parents’ request. The grave had been reserved for George’s widow, but she has remarried and consented to the brothers’ bodies resting together. The younger brother was not married. George never will wear his new glove, and baseball fans won’t know how good the brothers’ pitches might have been.
The Oregonian, Friday, June 6, 1969 Draft Board Shifts Plans: Loss Of Brothers Called “Hardship” When the Oregon City Selective Service Board learned Wednesday morning that Dennis Wright had lost two brothers in Vietnam the board immediately, on its own initiative, canceled Wright’s pre-induction physical examination, scheduled for June 23. The board further invited Dennis to appear Tuesday, June 10, “to see what we can do for him,” in the words of Chairman William C. Perry Jr. The board did not know that Mr. and Mrs. George W. Wright of Boring had lost an older son, George N., a Marine, in Vietnam May 21, 1967, and a second son, Spec. 4 James Wright May 31, 1969, Perry explained. Hardship Cited “This case is not covered under the law which prohibits drafting a sole surviving son,” Perry pointed out, since the Wrights have a fourth son, Gary, 12, at home. Mrs. Wright has four children from a previous marriage. “But it seems to me that the loss of two sons in two years is a hardship that deserves the consideration of the board,” Perry said. Dennis must apply for a hardship deferment before the board can act. It then must know all the facts in the case before taking action, Perry explained. Mrs. Wright, who had not received the official notice of the board’s action through the mail, expressed her relief over the board’s actions.