Peter Samuel Borsay

Private First Class
Army of the United States
17 February 1945 - 31 May 1969
Morgantown, West Virginia
Panel 23W Line 025

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Peter S Borsay
Photo from "Vietnam: One Week's Dead"
LIFE Magazine, Vol. 66, No. 25, June 27, 1969

The database page for Peter Samuel Borsay

06 Jun 2002

I knew Peter Borsay when I was just a teenager attending a church camp in central Penn. I knew his brothers, Leslie, Ben, and Daniel and his sisters whose names I can't remember. He impressed me as a great leader with a great sense of humor. I was learning to play the guitar then and he always wanted me to play "Four Strong Winds" by Ian Tyson. I still play it and think of him. I had met his wife and heard she was pregnant at the time of his death. I lost touch with his family but never with my memory of him. He died on May 31, 1969, the day after Memorial Day. I remember seeing his picture on the cover of LIFE magazine which showed all the others that had died that week in Vietnam. Eight years later I adopted a little girl from China. She was born on May 30, 1964. Her name is Nelsie. Memorial Days are a mixed day for me. I remember Peter's wonderful smile and his passionate intensity. I remember how much life he possessed and for the ways his life still influences mine. And I think of my daughter. I know he would have loved her too.

John Vincze, friend.

16 Jul 2003

Pete was one of my best friends in college. We were on the Intercollegiate Debate Team together, along with another friend, Edward Howard. After graduation, I went on to law school and Pete went on to work on his Masters in Speech.

We met again in Vietnam when I was a company commander with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and Pete had just come in-country to be with the First Cavalry. He stopped by our Orderly Room and we talked for about an hour. That was the last time any of our group saw him alive.

I got a message from Ed Howard about three weeks after Pete and I had talked, saying that Pete had been killed. I took it rather hard.

Pete was a very bright young man, with a promising future and a Puckish sense of humor. Hardly a day goes by that I don't remember him with fondness.

Please remember a promising life cut short.

Forrest Lee Horn
Captain, Infantry, US Army

27 Aug 2003

My name is Peter Thomas Borsay. I was named after Peter Samuel Borsay (my uncle) by my father Les and mother Lois. I regret that I was unable to know this great man, who has left such an indelible mark on his friends and family. I feel it is an honor to carry his name and to follow in his footsteps with my military career. I know that he never intended to make the military his life, though he willingly sacrificed so that all of us might prosper and live in freedom. My family still bears deep wounds over his death and rarely speak of him to me. Yet I remember his picture, his grave, and his medals that were displayed in my grandparents' house. I may never know what happened to him in Vietnam, but regardless, he is a hero. I pray that I can live a life half as righteous as he did, and that his spirit remain with me always.

Peter Borsay
1st Lt, USMC

1 Apr 2004

I desire to communicate with others who remember Peter and were with him in the jungles. I remember his death and would like to communicate with those there that day as I was.

From a Viet Nam friend,
Lenny Byerly
8 First Street, Dolgeville, NY 13329

25 Oct 2004

My name is Aaron David Michealis Borsay. My brother is Peter Thomas (and father Les) and my uncle is Peter Samuel. Both of them are amazing people. I like my brother wish I was able to met this man my uncle who was important to everone. I have asked my father a little about him and always there were amazing things about how brave and smart the man was. He was a good man and is missed strongly by the family. I just pray that those of us around will carry what there is to know of him. My missed and dedicated uncle Peter Samuel Borsay.

From his nephew,
Aaron Borsay
211 Windsor Rd, Lynchburg, Va, 24502

22 May 2005

My name is John Straub and I met Peter Borsay in 1965 when he joined the West Virginia University Debate Team of which I was a member. Peter immediately demonstrated his considerable skills as a debater and it was soon clear that he was by far a better debater than any of the rest of us. Despite this he also became everyone's mentor and best friend. All of us on the team looked up to him with awe and respect and we all knew that Peter was truly a special person. Peter helped many on the team with their studies, and even helped them talk through personal problems.

Peter was a spiritual person, funny, irreverant and brilliant academically. He was funny with a wonderful sense of humor, and at the same time a serious person who thought deeply about serious matters, and yet remained personable and unfailingly humble.

Peter had transferred from Geneva College to WVU and graduated that year, returning the following year as a graduate student in Speech and as Assistant Debate Coach. For the next two years, he continued to mentor and teach us debate as well as living and how as college students to grow into mature young men and women.

The news of his death in Vietnam in 1969 was devastating to all of us who had known and been touched by him. His death was a devastating blow to his family, including his wife Peggy, who had also been on the debate team. To this day when I think of the handful of people who have had a major impact on me I immediately think of Peter. He was indeed a remarkable person and when I think of him I recall his death with deep sadness, but his life with great joy. God bless you, Peter.

From a friend,
John Straub

03 Nov 2006

My name is Jerry Sublette. I was a freshman on the WVU Debate Team the same year that Peter transferred from Geneva College. He was my mentor, my friend, and my idol for the years that he debated and coached at WVU. I wanted to be like Peter. I can still clearly hear the fire in his voice when he stood up to speak in a debate. Seeing his picture on this site brought back a flood of fond memories of Peter.

My last contact with Peter was at his burial. His college roommate and friend, Thom Moore, called me with the news of Peter's death, and a few days later Thom and I went to the burial together. Appropriately, it was a dismal, rainy day. I will never forget the military salute - the firing of those rifles sent shivers down my spine. I will also never forget the tears streaming down our faces, black and white, as we shared our grief. For me, that moment of grief still lingers.

Peter Borsay was a great man. I often wonder what he would have become. And I am still remain bitter at the loss of one of my closest friends.

Jerry Sublette

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
John Vincze

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 6 Jun 2002
Last updated 11/18/2006