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West Virginia Veterans Memorial

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


Karol Clay

". . . Karol was an exemplary soldier who gave his life assisting his fellow man and in the service of his country . . . "

Matthew Hoey, Ltc, CE

Karol Clay was born in Morrisvale, West Virginia, on September 4, 1949, the youngest child of Frank and Edith Clay. He attended Morrisvale Elementary School and was a student at Scott High School from 1963 to 1967.

At age 16 he moved to Chicago in search of employment. He worked at the Clark Candy Company, where he received an injury which resulted in severe burns over much of his body. Due to these injuries, he was declared ineligible for military service by the draft board. Karol volunteered for service and entered the United States Army on November 30, 1967, and trained at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Karol served in Vietnam as a member of Company D, 26 Engineer Battalion. On August 10, 1968, Karol and his unit were on a clearing mission near the village of Thuan Hoa, South Vietnam. That afternoon PFC Karol Clay was fatally wounded when hit by fragments from the detonation of an enemy land mine.
Hoey letter
Letter from Matthew W. Hoey, 1968

The body of Karol Clay was returned to the United States and interred in the Clay Cemetery in Morrisvale.

Bronze Star certificate
Bronze Star certificate
Karol was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. In 2010, the West Virginia Legislature passed a resolution naming a bridge in Woodville, Lincoln County, the "PFC Karol Clay Memorial Bridge."


West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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