Thursday, September 17, 2009

Walter K. Singleton

U.S. Marine Corps
Walter Keith Singleton (1944-1967) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in March 1967 during the Vietnam War

Walter Keith Singleton was born on December 7, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated from Bartlett High School there in June 1963.

On August 1, 1963, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Memphis and integrated into the Regular Marine Corps the following September.

Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, he completed recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion in February 1964. Upon completion of recruit training, he was promoted to private first class.

Transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he was assigned duty as ammo-carrier with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division until November 1965. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, he was promoted to Lance Corporal on October 1, 1964 and to Corporal on August 1, 1965.

Corporal Singleton returned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island and served as an instructor with the Weapons Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, with the additional duty of training marksmanship to Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. While performing this additional duty, he received a letter of appreciation for qualifying 100 percent of the Officers-to-be.

Prior to departure from the United States, Cpl Singleton was promoted to Sergeant on September 1, 1966. On November 13, 1966, he joined Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam and served as supply sergeant with that unit. He was mortally wounded on March 24, 1967 in the action for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

A Parkway, which runs from Memphis TN to Millington TN is named in his honor.

Awards and decorations
A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnamese Service Medal with one bronze star, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star
Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Palm)
Vietnam Military Merit Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SGT Singleton's company was conducting combat operations when the lead platoon received intense small arms, automatic weapons, rocket, and mortar fire from a well entrenched enemy force. As the company fought its way forward, the extremely heavy enemy fire caused numerous friendly casualties. Sensing the need for early treatment of the wounded, SGT Singleton quickly moved from his relatively safe position in the rear of the foremost point of the advance and made numerous trips through the enemy killing zone to move the injured men out of the danger area. Noting that a large part of the enemy fire was coming from a hedgerow, he seized a machine gun and assaulted the key enemy location, delivering devastating fire as he advanced. He forced his way through the hedgerow directly into the enemy strong point. Although he was mortally wounded, his fearless attack killed 8 of the enemy and drove the remainder from the hedgerow. SGT Singleton's bold actions completely disorganized the enemy defense and saved the lives of many of his comrades. His daring initiative selfless devotion to duty and indomitable fighting spirit reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and his performance upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.