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Service commemorates 50th anniversary of Monroeville grad's death in Vietnam

• Updated Mar 6, 2018 at 12:45 AM

A service commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Lance Corporal James Sprowl will be held at St. Sebastian Cemetery at 2 p.m. on March 18.

Lance Corporal Sprowl was killed in action in Quang Tri, Vietnam, on March 18, 1968. Sprowl was posthumously honored with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. His parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Sprowl, were presented with these awards as well as the Battle Star Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the American Defense Medal. Mr. and Mrs. Sprowl were also presented Gold Star pins.

According to an article that appeared in The Bellevue Gazette, published in Bellevue on Aug. 31, 1968, Lance Corporal Sprowl “was cited by the president for exposing himself to hostile fire and single-handedly assaulting the enemy by throwing hand grenades and firing his rifle until he was killed.”

Part of the Bronze Star citation read: “Corporal Sprowl’s resolute initiative and unwavering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”

Jim Sprowl attended elementary school at St. Sebastian School in Bismark and graduated from Monroeville High School.

A social time will follow the graveside memorial service in the Bismark Senior and Community Center. Family and friends as well as the public are welcome to attend to share memories, fellowship and light refreshments.

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