Russell Don Buckner

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
08 September 1949 - 11 June 1969
Weaverville, North Carolina
Panel 22W Line 018


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Russell Don Buckner

08 Mar 2005

Gone but certainly not forgotten! Missed more than anyone knows!

Butch Gudger
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

10 May 2006

My fallen brother, you will always live in my heart as a Marine and friend. When words are spoken about those who fought bravely and perished, I am filled with a sadness we didn't come home proudly together. All I am or will be in this life you shall ever be a part of. The words "USMC" fill me with pride knowing I had the honor of serving with you as your Fire Team leader and friend!

Forever your Marine Brother!
Sam "Frags" Felton
C 1/5 69-71

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Charlie 1/5 Marines lost two men in the early hours of 11 June 1969: Pfc Russell D. Buckner and Pfc James M. Wandro of San Mateo, California (Silver Star).

Mr. Felton, whose addendum appears above, received the Navy Cross for his actions during the engagement. The Citation for his award outlines the circumstances of Pfc Buckner's death:

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the



Private First Class
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company C, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the morning of 11 June 1969, Company C was established in a battalion night defensive perimeter two miles west of An Hoa Combat Base when its sector came under a heavy volume of rocket, mortar, recoilless rifle, and automatic-weapons fire followed by a determined assault by an estimated 100 North Vietnamese Army soldiers. When communications with a three-man listening post seventy-five meters forward of the perimeter were lost, Private First Class Felton established voice contact and learned that all three Marines were wounded and unable to return to the perimeter unassisted. With resolute determination, he left his fighting hole and although wounded by enemy fire, continued across the open terrain until he reached the beleaguered Marines. After administering first aid and ensuring that no equipment or ordnance was left behind, he provided covering fire as he directed the two least seriously wounded men across the hazardous area to the company lines. Despite his weakened condition from loss of blood, Private First Class Felton began to carry the most seriously injured Marine through the knee-deep mud and water of the rice paddy. Suddenly two hostile soldiers jumped in front of him, blocking his chance to return to friendly lines. Reacting instantly, he fired his M-16 rifle with one hand while supporting the wounded Marine with his injured arm, killing both of the enemy, and fearlessly continued his herculean efforts until he delivered his wounded comrade to the battalion aid station. He then returned to the perimeter and continued fighting the attacking force until the enemy was repulsed. His heroic actions and bold fighting spirit inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several fellow Marines. By his courage, daring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Private First Class Felton upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
Butch Gudger
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Mar 2005
Last updated 05/14/2006