Samuel Wayne Bell

Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
18 June 1935 - 10 May 1969
San Francisco, California
Panel 25W Line 035


Purple Heart, USMC Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Samuel Wayne Bell

08 May 2002

Semper Fi, leader of Marines.
You died like a true Marine,
leading your Marines forward toward the enemy.
I am filled with pride to have served with you.

I was in Sam's platoon in Vietnam. He was our Platoon Sergeant.

Sam died leading our platoon against an entrenched company of NVA who had ambushed us with small arms and mortars. We took the enemy but we lost half our platoon killed and wounded.

The platoon loved Sam.
He took care of us.

Gary Stanley
MGySgt, USMC (Ret)

Samuel Wayne Bell,
Staff Sergeant, USMC,
was buried on 22 May 1969 in Plot O-3254-E,
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Point Loma, San Diego County, California,
among other men of courage and integrity.
08 Apr 2006

I am his daughter - my name is Marquessa Elena Hawkins. I will be 40 on August 8th and I am grateful for all of your kind words about my dad. Thank you.


Marquessa Elena Bell Hawkins

07 Jun 2007

The information you leave behind regarding my husband, Samuel Wayne Bell, is a legacy for my daughter, Marquessa Elena. She was only two and a half when he was killed on his second tour in Vietnam.

He was truly a warrior in every sense. He loved the Corps, knew the risks, believed in the fight. He was a devoted husband and father and knew he was an integral part of the tradition of the Corps.

While he shared with me the struggle, he never gave up the fight for what he believed in. We grieve but we do not despair. Thank you for your kindness in sharing his last deployment which became his last days on this earth.

He is still greatly missed and deeply loved.

From his wife,
Susan Bell Ferraris
1484 Palomarcos Avenue, San Marcos, Ca 92069

A Note from The Virtual Wall

At the end of April 1969, elements of the 3rd and 9th Marines relocated to positions just south of the Demilitarized Zone in preparation for a major operation called "Virginia Ridge". Master Gunnery Sergeant Gary Stanley, veteran of Vietnam, Beirut, the first Gulf War and Somalia, recalls the fighting on 01 and 10 May 1969 in which the Marines listed below died.
On 1 May the company [Delta 1/3] stumbled into about two platoons of NVA dug in between two hills. We had a day-long fire fight. During that time, 1st Platoon, trying to slip around the NVA flank, ran into an ambush and took quite a few casualties. They managed to fight their way back to the company, but left several wounded and KIAs. It wasn't until the next morning before we got to them and by then all were KIA. Horn and Foley were both killed at that time. Both were already the owners of two Purple Hearts.

On 10 May we [3rd Platoon and 60mm mortars] were on a small hill on Mutter's Ridge just south of the DMZ. We were hit by at least two platoons of NVA (probably the same group we encountered on the 1st) at 0330 and fought till around 0600. We had to drive the NVA off the hill twice during that time. We had about 25 wounded to go with the KIA. There was some very close-up fighting that morning, even a few cases of hand to hand.

I still have dreams of the 10 May fight. Thomas Heise was my best friend, Robert Hansen was my squad leader and SSgt Bell was our Platoon Sergeant. The rest of my squad had five more WIA of the remaining seven.

All the Marines in these two fights fought like Marines have always fought, with pride, honor, and love for one another. The men killed from both these days died with honor. They fought and died as warriors. They will live in the hearts and minds of those of us that were lucky enough to have survived that hellhole.

Gary Stanley
Master Gunnery Sergeant
United States Marine Corps

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his daughter,
Marquessa Elena Bell Hawkins

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 May 2002
Last updated 01/20/2008