Gunnery Sergeant Herman P. Wiggins, Jr. was born on November 5, 1940 to Herman P. Wiggins, Sr., and Matilda Wiggins in Portsmouth, Virginia where he received his first taste of military life. Rising to the rank of Eagle Scout & Order of the Arrow, at the age of 18 he was the youngest Boy Scout Master in history (at that time).
GySgt Wiggins enlisted in the Marine Corps on March 10, 1960, attended boot camp at MCRD Parris Island, and Infantry Training School at Camp LaJuene. His first year assignment was with Special Services, six months tour with the Marine Corps boxing team, and six months on the Marine Corps Swim Team and was the All Armed Forces free style-swimming champion in 1961.
GySgt Wiggins re-enlisted in March 1964 and transferred to 1st Force Recon, Camp Pendleton, where he successfully completed such schools as: Army Airborne, Amphib Recon, Basic SCUBA, and Navy 2nd Class Divers, BUD/Navy SEAL Training, Army Ranger, and the Army Jungle Warfare School.
In May 1965, GySgt Wiggins was deployed to the Republic of South Vietnam as the diving NCO for 1st Force Recon and participated in operations with the U.S. Army Special Forces, Navy Seal Team, Allied Forces, and became a member of a Special Delta Forces, logging 13 covert operations.
GySgt Wiggins’ decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal with “V”, 4 Purple Hearts, 2 Army Commendations, Navy Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Command Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Armed Force Expeditionary, Vietnam Service, Fleet Marine Service, Meritorious Military Vietnam Ribbon, Wound Vietnam & State of Vietnam Ribbon, and the Gallantry Cross Armed Force Vietnam medal.
He graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and spent 5 years serving with the San Diego Police Department. In 2017 he was a Grand Marshall in the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade.
His friends and family knew him as “Herm” or “The Gunny” and remembered him saying he was a very lucky man. He was full of life and laughter. He loved a good ocean swim, “date days” with his wife Wina, golf, hosting parties and spending time with the grandkids who lovingly called him “Grandfather”. He enjoyed public speaking and authored three books.
Herm was born on November 5, 1940 and departed from this world in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family on December 2, 2019. He was preceded in death by his father Herman P. Wiggins, Sr., and his mother Matilda Chappell. He leaves with us to cherish his memory: brothers Henry and Tommy Wiggins, his dedicated wife Edwina Wiggins, daughters Ivory Wiggins and Tasha Wiggins Hunter, his grandchildren Asia D. Navarro, Cameren Hasan, Mosiah Hunter, Zakai Hunter, his four-legged daughter Moki Dee, as well as a host of other family and friends who loved him dearly.
Shelter Services with Full Military Honors will be held at 11:15AM, Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Riverside National Cemetery. 22495 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA 92518.