Colonel Jerrell Everrett Hamby, deceased, US Army, from Jonesboro. Known in some circles as the “Grizzly”, Colonel Hamby served one tour as a Sergeant with the US Marine Corps in the Korean War and two in Vietnam as a commissioned US Army Officer. Some of his awards include the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action, Bronze Star Medal, with “V” device for valor, two Bronze Star Medals for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, five Purple Heart Medals for wounds suffered in combat, two Meritorious Service Medals, eleven Air Medals, one with “V” device, and the Army Commendation Medal.
COL Hamby's highest award, the Silver Star, was awarded due to his actions on 29 April 1970 while serving with the 2"d Battalion (Airmobile), 502nd Infantry, during combat operations in Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam. When a platoon from the battalion made contact with an enemy force, Major Hamby immediately arrived by helicopter and moved to the point of contact. Assessing the situation, he found that an on-line assault on the enemy bunker was necessary. Leading the platoon, Major Hamby came under intense automatic weapons fire from the front bunker. Disregarding the enemy fire, he moved forward and single-handedly assaulted the bunker with his pistol and two hand grenades. After silencing the position, Major Hamby moved to a nearby bunker and was wounded by an enemy grenade. Despite his wounds, he assaulted the position and silenced it with his final grenade. Refusing medical evacuation, Major Hamby continued to lead the assault until the complex was taken