WILSON, MICKEY LOUIS
WILSON, MICKEY LOUIS
Rank / Branch:
SP5 E-5, U.S. ARMY
Date of Birth:
VEHICLE-LOW BOY TRAILER
Awards & Decorations:
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list by County
MICKEY LOUIS WILSON, SPECIALIST FIVE E-5, U.S. ARMY, ODESSA, ECTOR, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star, Army Commendations Medal, Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Military Merit Medal
Mickey is the son of Mr and Mrs. M.L. Wilson of Odessa. He was born in San Angelo, Texas and his parents were living in Barnhart at the time. Mrs. Wilson, his mother, indicated the family was originally from Newburn, Tennessee. She stated Mr. Wilson had worked at a Air Force Base during World War II and when the war was over, the base closed and there was no work, so the family came to Texas in 1945 for an oilfield job offer. Mrs. Wilson stated for the first seven years in Texas, the family moved around the Permian Basin. In 1952, the family moved to Odessa. Mickey was the 2nd child, he has an older sister Jean, a younger brother James Darrell, and then two younger sisters, Sandra and Vickie.
Mickey was a good son and was very obedient. Mrs. Wilson indicated Mickey was a Christian and had strong religious beliefs. He attended the 2nd Baptist Church of Odessa, where he was baptized and saved. He was a good student according to his mother, not outstanding, just a good student. He had lots of friends and with a large family, Mrs. Wilson stated there were always kids around. He liked to do things that boys did. Mickey attended schools in Odessa from the first grade through graduation. Mickey attended three elementary schools, Alamo (now Gale Pond-Alamo), Burnet and Reagan. He attended Bonham Junior High and then graduated from Permian High School, Class of 1966.
After high school, Mickey attended Odessa College, but was going to night classes. He had a job in Midland and drove back and forth. It was this arrangement that got him into trouble with the draft board according to Mrs. Wilson. Mrs. Wilson stated Mickey was trying to take the minimum number of classes to keep his student deferment. She states he was taking 13 hours and suddenly he was told he could not take that number of classes being a night student. She stated rather than enroll full time, he continued to work, but kept attending classes. She stated in late 1968, the draft board re-classified him as 1-A. Mickey decided to join the Army and get his obligation behind him.
Mickey took his basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and his AIT at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. She stated he remained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma for awhile after his training, but he eventually got his orders for Vietnam.
Mrs. Wilson stated Mickey told her once he didn't think he was coming home from Vietnam, she told him to hush that type of thinking. She stated she can still remember it. She stated, "I guess he knew."
Mickey departed for Vietnam in April 1970 and was assigned to B Battery, 6th Battaltion, 27th Artillery Regiment of the II Field Force. Mickey was a fire directional crewman and he did the charting and calculating for fire missions as a part of the battery. He completed his 12 month tour in April 1971, but extended his tour to take advantage of the "early out" program. Mrs. Wilson indicated that Mickey had leave but did not want to take it as he felt it would be too hard to have to return after being home. Three weeks into his extension, Mickey was killed in an accident on May 10, 1971.
Micky in Vietnam, Photo courtesy of Mike Kelly
Mrs. Wilson stated that they did not get any real details other than it was an an accident involving a trailer. In 1972, Mrs. Wilson stated, one of Mickey's hooch mates from Vietnam came to Odessa to see them. This friend told them he was on R&R when Mickey was killed, but according to the talk that was going on when he returned to the battery, Mickey had fallen into the wheel well of a truck and was run over. The Wilson family did not accept this version as they felt that Mickey was too sure footed. However, in 2005, a fellow artilleryman from the unit contacted Mrs. Wilson and informed her that he was a witness to the accident. He stated the battery had been surrounded by enemy forces and that the upper command had decided that the unit would destroy the artillery and armored personnel support equipment and would be helicopter lifted out of the area, however the 1st Air Cavalry was able to penetrate and zone and give Mickey's unit a pathway out. So, the unit loaded up the artillery and armored personnel carriers on low boy trailers and started a night move on a very dark moonless night. It had been raining and drizzling all day and into the night. As the convoy was moving slowly out of the zone, Mickey was riding on a low boy trailer that was hauling an amored personnel carrier which was used for the First Directional Command which Mickey was assigned. Mickey crawled up the gooseneck to offer the driver a soda and as he was attempting to slide down the goosneck, he lost his balance and feel underneath the trailer and was run over. Witnesses stated that Mickey looked up at the guys, smiled and died.
After the accident situation was clarified for Mrs. Wilson. She stated she and her husband never believed the first version they heard after Mickey's death, but after hearing about the rain and drizzle and the moonless night, she accepted the version, however, Mr. Wilson died not knowing the exact nature of the accident.
Mickey was buried in Newburn, Tennessee in the family cemetery with full military honors. Mrs. Wilson stated Mickey loved Tennessee. Mickey's father passed away in 1992 and is buried next to Mickey. Mickey is survived by his brother and his two sisters. Mrs. Wilson, Mickey's mother continued to live in the house where she raised her children in Odessa. She passed away on Mickey's birthday, July 12, 2010 and is buried next to her husband and Mickey in Newburn. His brother, James Darrel; Wilson, a USMC veteran of the Vietnam era passed away December 11, 2011 in Odessa. His sister, Vickie Cox live in Odessa. His other sister, Jean Crum lives in Dyerburg, Tennessee close to where Mickey is buried. His sister, Sandra Buchanan lived in Clovis, New Mexico and passed away in Odessa on August 9, 2009 and is buried at Sunset Memorial Garden's Cemetery.