David Eugene DeWitt

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
06 June 1947 - 25 March 1968
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Panel 46E Line 016


Silver Star


Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit, RVN Gallantry Cross, RVN Vietnam Campaign

The database page for David Eugene DeWitt

02 Dec 2003

Dave was a key member of the platoon, well liked by all.
Someone you would want to have as a neighbor.
He had been on many operations.
He along with other members of the platoon were overcome by a much greater force.
May he rest in Peace.

Joel Johnson

James Mallard

06 Dec 2003


The photo and following article is taken from Daily Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, PA, on March 29, 1968:

Sp. 4 David DeWitt Killed In Vietnam

Specialist Fourth Class David Eugene DeWitt, 20, of Lancaster, who described himself as "an old timer" to the struggle in Vietnam, died in action in Vietnam on March 25.

DeWitt's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene B. DeWitt, of 118 Dauphin St., learned of their son's death in a telegram Thursday from the Army.


Two letters from DeWitt arrived at the DeWitt home Thursday along with notification of his death.

Mrs. DeWitt said that in one of her son's letters he said "Mom, I'm an old timer over here now, there aren't many of the orginal men left any more."

The telegram which informed DeWitt's parents of his death, read as follows:

"The Secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deep regret that your son, Specialist Four David Eugene DeWitt died in Vietnam on 25 March, 1968, as a result of a wound received while on a combat operation when engaging a hostile force in a firefight.

"Please accept my deepest sympathy, Kenneth G. Wichkam, Maj. Gen., USA."

Mrs. DeWitt said Thursday that she had received no further word as to the nature of the wound, nor any notification as to when the body would be returned to the U.S. for burial. She added that present plans call for her son to be buried with full military honors.

The mother, the former Nina Phillips, said that DeWitt entered the service a year ago, and had been serving with the 25th Division near Saigon for the past seven months. He was recently promoted to Spec. 4, and assigned as a leader on a track.


He was born in Montrose, W.V., attended Manheim Twp. High School (PA) and was employed two years by the Dodge Cork Co. before entering the service.

The body will be escorted home by Sp. 4 Leroy J. Miller, 755 Stevens Ave., who enlisted with DeWitt in March, 1967, under the "Buddy" system.

Survivors in addition to his parents, include a brother, Charles DeWitt, 446 W. Lemon St., a sister, Linda, at home and the maternal grandmother, Olive J. Phillips, Lancaster.

The death of the young soldier brings the total of casualties for Lancaster County to 25 since the Vietnamese War began. In addition 58 more local men have been reported wounded, and one is on the missing list.

27 May 2005

This article appeared in the Daily Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) on 22 March 1969:


Two more medals for valor in combat have been posthumously awarded to a Lancaster soldier killed in Vietnam March 25, 1968. This brings to 10 the number of medals awarded Spec. 4 David E. DeWitt, whose parents live at 118 Dauphin St.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wickham, of Ft. Meade, Md., informed the soldier's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene B. DeWitt, that their son has been awarded the Merit Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Palm by the government of South Vietnam.

DeWitt was cited previously for helping to fight off an enemy attack as part of a recoilless rifle team. He was serving as the driver of an armored personnel carrier with a scout platoon of the 23rd Infantry at the time.

"Had it not been for his unwavering professionlism," the citation said, "the scout section would have sustained many more casualties and evacuation of the wounded would have been impossible."

DeWitt's parents previously received these awards for their son: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Viet Campaign Ribbon and Markmanship Badge with Rifle Bar.

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

06 Jan 2004

Aloha from Hawaii. My deepest sympathy, so many years later, to the family of a brave fellow soldier. I am a Lancaster native; an Army soldier, serving both as an enlisted man (staff sergeant) and an officer (captain); and Vietnam veteran (1966-67 and 1970).

Though it comes many years later, it was just this evening that I felt that I needed to check my computer for Vietnam Veterans from Lancaster. Still, after all these years I still feel the sadness and anguish of witnessing the heroic end of many of my friends and fellow soldiers. I still cry in the dark, and though I never knew David personally, I know him as a brother. Please know that he will never be forgotten, and for millions of us (some belatedly) he will always be recognized as a hero even though our return home was not what we deserved. God Bless David, he is my brother, and I am privileged to honor him today.

From a fellow soldier and Vietnam vet,
Ken Stover, Jr.
Mililani, Hawaii

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, lost 11 men in an action near Tran Bang, Hau Nghia Province, on 25 March 1968:

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his platoonmates,
James Mallard and Joel Johnson
2 Dec 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 06/11/2005