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William D. Jinks

July 16, 1945 - May 19, 1967
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery

Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas

Gold Star Mother Irene Bell Jinks


Location on the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington, D. C.

Panel 20E  Line 045

Bill Jinks Dies In Vietnam


Marine Lance Corporal William Donald "Bill" Jinks, 21, of Bay City, son of Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Jinks, was killed Friday in Vietnam action.


A member of an artillery unit firing at enemy positions, Jinks was fatally struck by a mortar round launched by North Vietnamese trying to knock out the big U.S. guns.


Rev. Jinks, now minister of Central Baptist Church in Lamoni, Iowa, notified Bill's uncle, Don Bell of Bay City by phone Sunday afternoon of the tragedy. Mrs. Jinks is the former Irene Bell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bell of Bay City.


Bill, although having lived in Canada, Alabama, Florida and Washington during his life, called Bay City home because of his grandparents and many aunts and uncles residing here. He joined the marines while living here Feb. 28, 1966 and had been in Vietnam since Sept. 9, 1966.


The young Marine was still a member of Calvary Baptist Church and the funeral will be held in the church here when his body is returned from Vietnam.


In his last letter from Viet Nam--to his brother, Kenneth W. Jinks of Bay City--Bill, writing by candlelight as mortar shells flew over his head said, "I'm doing what I want to do and feel I should be doing; there are a lot of guys over here taking a bigger risk than I am..."

Members of his immediate family surviving in addition to Ken are two other brothers, Claude E. Jinks of Kansas City and Rev. Charles P. Jinks of Port Hueneme, Calif., and a sister, Mrs. Keith (Nancy) Becker of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Bill was a graduate of Chelan High School in Chelan, Washington, and attended college in Oakland, California, and Kansas City prior to the family's moving to this area. The young man then attended Houston Baptist College.

Jinks had received a promotion to Lance Corporal only last month for his outstanding record in the Corps.

The Daily Tribune, May 22, 1967

A Letter To The Editor

Marine Corporal Bill Jinks Is Dead,
But The Example He Set Will Live On

To the Editor:

In recent weeks I have become more concerned than ever before with the growing change in attitude of our country and its modernistic trends. With headlines giving more and more space to race riots, Cassius Clay-type draft dodgers and agnostics or proclaimed atheists shouting "God Is Dead," my entire being has been filled with a terror unmatched by any I have known before.

How can I as a mother hope to teach my children strong ideals and an immovable loyalty to God and Country with half the world thinking God Is Dead and the other half too unconcerned to do anything about it?

How might I teach them to know the thrill of seeing Old Glory swirl and unfurl its stars and stripes with a pride that brings a lump into the throats of the men and women of my generation?

Even greater than the problems mentioned, how might I show them that God is indeed alive and tangible?

Is it possible to teach a child in today's troubled world that high standards are still something to maintain and that Christian faith is to be cherished?

With all the confusion of our hurried world, until today, I was filled with doubts.

Until Now...

On Friday, the 19th of May, Marine Corporal William D. Jinks died in Viet Nam.

He was not old fashioned, but he died a patriot.

He was not radical, bit he served a living God.

He was one of our new generation. The kind you can look upon with great pride.

Last year when Bill announced to his parents and friends that he planned to leave Houston Baptist College where he was studying the ministry, to join the Marines, we were appalled.

Why? You have a college deferment. You don't have to go now. Wait til you finish school. Wail til the war situation is not so bad.

Bill answered quite simply that he felt led by God to go. He felt he was needed in Viet Nam.
He amused many of us with his efforts to get into shape before taking his physical so basic wouldn’t be so rough...

Some of us still questioned his decision. When he passed the physical he walked in tall cotton for days because he felt it was God's way of showing him he was going in the right direction. He knew he faced hardships and that he had a 50% chance of not returning. Yet he wanted peace for his country and wanted to fight for it in a land so foreign to most of us we can't find it on a map.

He never wavered in his conviction that God was sending him or calling him to Viet Nam. When he got there, he was faithful to write, talking very little of the war, writing of the familiar things he missed, always gratefully thanking the sender for each letter or package sent, steadfast in his faith in God, and always asking for our prayers.

Sunday when I learned that Bill was gone, I felt a great personal loss. But sadness always brings a great flood of memories, and among my precious memories of Bill Jinks I found a renewed faith in God, my country and my fellow man.

GOD IS NOT DEAD! He could not be dead, and speak to a young man's heart so loudly that he would go bravely into battle and fight for freedom.

PATRIOTISM has not vanished, for with his love of God and his strong desire to do the will of God, Bill carried to war a great love for his country and a real concern for the souls of the young men who will mold its future.

We will not share light, gay and happy moments with Bill again, but because he was a living witness for Christ in a place where young men could not deny God, some of our young men will return with a different outlook on life and perhaps change our world greatly.

For those who follow Bill in death, some who had shared his life briefly in a troubled land may now walk with him as he walks beside a LIVING GOD looking down on a proud country.

Mrs. Edward J. Anderson, Bay City, Texas

The Daily Tribune, May 23, 1967

Bill Jinks' Funeral Sunday At 2 PM

Funeral services for William Donald Jinks, 21, the Bay City Marine Lance Corporal killed May 19 in Viet Nam, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Calvary Baptist Church in Bay City.

Members of the U. S. Marine Corps will serve as pallbearers and Honor Guard and Corporal Jinks will be accorded full military honors.

Burial will take place Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the National Cemetery in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

His body is now lying in state at Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Bay City and will do so until 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Rev. Johnny Nesbitt of Calvary Baptist Church, who will officiate at the local services, today made public a letter to him from Bill Jinks while the young Marine was visiting in Bangkok, Thailand.

"The student center is a Southern Baptist undertaking, directed by a Southern Baptist missionary, Benton Williams. Its primary mission is to win the Thai people while teaching them the English Language. The greatest need at the recently opened center is for books for its library. They need a set of encyclopedias and both religious and non-religious books on the junior to intermediate level (9-17 age range)."

Bill Jinks continued with this thought, "I realize that there are many worthwhile projects there at home that could use your time and money, but I thought that there might be a group either in your church or association who would undertake this worthwhile project."

Rev. Nesbitt said that anyone wishing to donate to that cause may address their gift to the "Bill Jinks Memorial Fund, Calvary Baptist Church, Bay City, Texas, 77414."

Jinks' maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bell of Bay City and his parents , Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Jinks of Lamont, Iowa, are former residents. Rev. Jinks was pastor of Baptist Temple Church in Bay City several years ago.

The Daily Tribune, June 2, 1967

Memorial Will Honor Former BC Resident Killed in Viet War


The Student Senate at Houston Baptist College is sponsoring a fund-raising drive to establish a memorial in its library for a former Bay City resident who was the first student from the college to die in the Vietnam War.


The memorial is for Bill Jinks, son of Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Jinks, who moved to Bay City in 1965 but now reside in Kansas City, Mo.


Bill transferred to HBC his junior year and would have been in the first graduating class, the class of '67 had he not chosen to join the U.S. Marines and fight in the Vietnam war, according to Mark C. Fowler, HBC Student Senate vice-president.


Fowler said that because Jinks was the first -- and to the college's knowledge, the only -- HBC student to die in the Vietnam war, and because the Student Senate wishes to commemorate his effort and the efforts of all U.S. servicemen in the war, they are seeking to raise enough money to establish a Bill Jinks Memorial Political Science Library. Jinks was a political science and Christianity major.


Anyone wishing to make a donation to this fund should make checks payable to "Houston Baptist College Student Senate, Bill Jinks Memorial, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX 77036"


The Daily Tribune, March 25, 1968


Funeral services for a native Matagorda Countian, Irene Bell Jinks, 77, will be held 2 p.m. Thursday at Calvary Baptist Church of Bay City with the Rev. Bob Baldwin of Mangum Oaks Baptist Church officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park, Van Vleck.

Friends may call from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the church.

Mrs. Jinks, the first child of the late Frank and Nora Bell, was born at Stewart Switch, Matagorda County, Texas, on Oct. 6, 1911.

She and her husband spent years in church related work with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. After retirement from full-time ministry, they moved to Palacios where they were active members of the First Baptist Church before moving to Houston when she became ill.

Mrs. Jinks was also active in organizing the first Old Gulf High School reunion which has since become an annual event.

She is survived by her husband, the Rev. C. P. Jinks, whom she married on Oct. 6, 1933. To this marriage was born four sons and one daughter, Dr. Charles Jinks of Honolulu, Hawaii, Nancy Becker of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Claude Jinks of Houston and Kenneth Jinks of Phoenix, Ariz. William Donald Jinks preceded his mother in death in 1967. Mrs. Jinks was a grandmother to 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Other survivors include her sisters, Doris Moberly of Matagorda, Ellanora Hartsfield of Palacios, Nell Middleton of Bay City and brothers Floyd Bell of Van Vleck, William Bell, Robert V. Bell and Donald M. Bell of Bay City. She was preceded in death by one sister, Gladys Bell Lane.

Arrangements are with Pat Foley Funeral Home, Houston.

The Daily Tribune, March 8, 1989


Funeral Services for C. P. Jinks, 90, of Houston, Texas will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday August 17, 1999 at Earthman Hunters Creek Funeral Home in Houston, Texas. Interment will follow at 2 p.m. Tuesday, August 17, 1999 at Roselawn Cemetery in Van Vleck, Texas.

Jinks died August 12, 1999 in Houston, Texas. He was born May 3, 1909 in New Waverly, Texas.

He married Irene Bell of Bay City on October 6, 1921 in New Gulf. They were married for 57 years and had 5 children.

Jinks over the years worked in the oil fields in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois and Western Canada. At age 53, he attended Bible College and then pastured churches in Ashford, Alabama, Chelan, Washington, Bay City, Texas, Lamoni, Iowa, Barstow, California, and Owensville, Missouri.

He was preceded in death by a son, Bill Jinks, May, 1967 and his wife Irene, March, 1989. He is survived by 4 children--Charles Jinks and wife Elizabeth of Peoria, Arizona; Claude Jinks and wife Ella Dee of Houston, Texas; Nancy Becker and husband Keith of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Ken Jinks and wife Nancy of Phoenix, Arizona; 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are with Earthman Hunters Creek Funeral Home in Houston.

The Daily Tribune, August 17, 1999

Pictures of Corporal Jinks and his parents courtesy of
Nancy Becker, Leanne Pinkerton and Ellanora Hartsfield.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial rubbing courtesy of Anette Uher.


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Feb. 5, 2006
Jan. 16, 2010