Donald Allen Lewis

United States Marine Corps
06 April 1942 - 26 August 1966
Eureka, Kansas
Panel 10E Line 048


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

The database page for Donald Allen Lewis

17 Nov 2005

Don, the 4th of six children, was orphaned when he was 16 and the boys went west with their older brother. We did not keep in very good touch but had started corresponding a few months before he was killed, leaving a widow and small daughter.

Don was killed on a firebase near Cam Lo near Highway 9, about half way between Dong Ha and Khe Sanh involving NVA regular troops versus Viet Cong irregulars.

Tall, red-headed, with a great sense of humor, he was the best, the most independent and the brightest of us all. He was raised on a ranch, 25 miles from town, and loved cowboying, hunting and fishing but was also a reader and thinker. He was on his second enlistment in the Corps and second tour in Vietnam.

I have a lot of questions and would really like to hear from anyone who served with him or knew him.

From his sister,
Phyllis M. Lewis
895 West 12th, Apt. 318, Juneau, AK 99801

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 25/26 August 1966 elements of 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines were occupying the artillery positions at Cam Lo in Quang Tri Province. The artillery positions were protected by an infantry company, Alpha 1/4 Marines. In the early morning hours of 26 August the position came under attack by a determined enemy force. Both the 3/12 and 1/4 Command Chronologies for August 1966 address the attack.

The 3/12 Chronology contains the following entry:

"At approximately 0330H the Battalion (fwd) position was attacked by an enemy force of at least Company strength. The attack came from the east and southeast and was obviously aimed at the FDC [Fire Direction Center] and the howitzers. The fact that the FDC had been moved on the previous day was probably one of the factors most favorable to our side.

"Initially, small arms and automatic weapons fire and numerous grenades were received by the security rifle company [Alpha 1/4] defending the position. A heavy volume of fire was delivered on the attacking force, while the 105mm howitzers provided self-illumination by expending 412 illumination rounds during the attack.

"In spite of the heavy fire and the committment of a reaction squad composed of members of Headquarters Battery in order to reinforce the line, several of the attackers managed to penetrate the position, placing explosive charges in trailers and tents. Six KIA were sustained by the artillery battalion while the infantry suffered one KIA. A total of seventy-eight bodies of members of the attacking force were counted in and around the position."

The 1/4 Chronology reflects the infantrymen's perspective:
"The heaviest contact of the month occured on the night of 25-26 August. At 260340H Company A, located at the artillery positions at Cam Lo, began to receive heavy incoming mortar and S/A rounds. During the next 1-1/2 hours, Company A's lines were penetrated by an estimated 2 Companies of VC and NVA. By virtue of a determined resistance, quick and immediate unit response, and many cases of individual courage and initiative, the atttack was repulsed, and the enemy was driven from the position. Final results were 75 VC KIA (confirmed); USMC 3 KIA and 13 WIA."
Nine Marines died in the attack:
  • H Btry, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines:
    • Cpl Richard A. Frye, Venice, CA
    • Pfc Arthur B. Scarbrough, Mobile, AL
    • Pfc Arthur P. Williams, Haverhill, MA

  • HQ Btry, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines:
    • SSgt Donald F. Gibson, Wheaton, IL
    • Sgt Donald A. Lewis, Eureka, KS
    • Cpl James T. Beasley, Cantonment, FL

  • A Co, 1st Bn, 4th Marines:
    • SSgt John W. Joys, San Francisco, CA (Navy Cross)
    • Pfc John J. Blanton, Baltimore, MD
    • Pfc James E. Reid, Wichita, KS

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index L
KS State Index . Panel 10E

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009