1st Lieutenant John William Wilson was born on November 27, 1948, and was originally from Loudon, Tennessee. He served his country in the Vietnam War in the United States Army, as an infantry unit commander in B Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. He was a 2-year veteran of the Army, and his tour in Vietnam began on November 5, 1969. On April 3, 1970, 1st Lt. Wilson was killed in action under hostile conditions in Thua Thien province, South Vietnam; he was 21 at the time of his death. 1st Lt. Wilson is memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 12W, Line 90.

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