Special Recognition Award Recipients:
Brother – James Edward Paul
Sister – Laura Paul Rogers
The key word here is “Special”! Joe Calvin Paul was born on April 23, 1946 to his mother, Inez, and father, Callie. He had a brother, James Edward, and a sister, Laura. They lived in Williamsburg, Kentucky, but moved to Dayton, Ohio in 1952. They lived on East 5th Street, close to Stivers High School.
Joe completed his freshman and sophomore years at Stivers, and at the time was 17 years old.
Since childhood, he had wanted to be a Marine and could sign up with his parent’s permission. They agreed. Joe completed his basic recruit training in San Diego, California, in August 1963. He was sent to combat training school, then sent to Hawaii, became a private first class, and shortly was promoted to Lance Corporal.
His next assignment was to Vietnam in May 1965. Joe became a Fire Team Leader and in a battle with the Viet Cong at Chu Lia Provence on August 18, 1965, his unit was pinned down by machine gun fire.
Five of is group were wounded and likely to be wiped out, so Joe located himself in a position that drew the Viet Cong fire so that his buddies could be evacuated. He was mortally wounded and died on August 19, 1965.
This action earned him the CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR on February 2, 1967. He was also honored by naming a destroyer escort after him, USS Joe Paul, DE1080.
His mother, Inez, christened the ship June 20, 1970. Two years later, USS Joe Paul DE 1080 was off the coast of Vietnam tossing shells into the area where Joe gave his life to save his buddies.
Joe’s sister, Laura Paul Rogers, and brother, James Edward Paul, still live in the Dayton area.
His parent are now deceased.