Wilbur Glen Kirchoff

United States Marine Corps
01 August 1941 - 06 March 1966
Marcus, Iowa
Panel 05E Line 106


Navy-Marine Corps Medal

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

The database page for Wilbur Glen Kirchoff

09 Oct 2003

Sergeant Wilbur "Bill" Kirchoff came into the Marine Corps from Marcus, Iowa. He was married to Judy Kirchoff (Tarvin) and they had one child, Deanna Kirchoff. He was a hard working man and loved farming with his father Glenn on the family farm. He is loved and missed greatly by his family, but most of all by his daughter. Rest in Peace, Bill, and thank you for your selfless sacrifice so I can enjoy the freedoms that come with being an American.

A memorial initiated by his daughter's half-brother.

14 Oct 2003

Wilbur "Bill" Kirchoff was my next-door neighbor on Maryland Drive in Vista, California, when I was a kid. I was only 11 when he died, but I remember him well; I remember him "playing war" with me and other Marine brats in the field behind my house and how thrilled we were to have a real Marine playing with us -- not only a real Marine, but a real Marine HERO. For Bill was a hero before he went to Viet Nam.

This may not be entirely accurate but this is the way I remember the story: On a parachute jump with his Marine Recon unit, the parachute of a Marine who jumped after him failed to open. The Marine landed on Bill's parachute canopy and Bill yelled at him to roll off and grab the shrouds. The Marine did just that and slid down the shrouds into Bill's arms. Bill grabbed him in a bear hug and held onto him all the way down to the ground (I assume he might have let go with one hand to steer). The whole story is documented in the Citation for his award of the Navy-Marine Corps Medal, the highest award that can be given for heroism in a non-combat situation -- I wish I had access to a copy so I could put it here. When he was awarded the medal, he took the review for a First Marine Division parade at Camp Pendleton.

Bill Kirchoff -- hero SQUARED.

From his next-door neighbor,
Ray Trygstad
Vista, California
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The DoD casualty database says Sergeant Kirchoff was killed in action on 04 March 1966, and the DD Form 1300 prepared at HQ USMC on 08 March 1966 agrees.

However, his service record (obtained from the National Personnel Records Center, St Louis) disagrees - it says he was killed in action on 06 March 1966, and the 3rd Recon Bn and 3rd MarDiv reports concur. The following extract is taken from the 3rd Recon Bn Command Chronology for March 1966:

It appears that an error was made during the casualty reporting process, so that the DD1300 and subsequent records (including the DoD casualty database) incorrectly report his date of death as 04 March 1966.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his daughter's half-brother.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Oct 2003
Last updated 12/29/2011