David Thomas Schaffer

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
29 July 1949 - 28 August 1969
Phoenix, Arizona
Panel 18W Line 004


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for David Thomas Schaffer

14 Feb 2005

Dead at too young an age, you never lived
long enough to know the pain.

Oh, how I wish you were here to share
that pain.

Your brother in arms
and fellow Marine,
Dave Hunt
Semper Fi.

E-mail address is not available.

03 Nov 2005

To Dave
By Patti Simcoe

You were my friend
Way too late, and for
Far too short of time.

I said goodbye to you one day
As You went off to war.
And I never once considered
Twas the last time
My eyes would recognize yours.

You came home in a body bag
With a bullet through your throat.

They said you looked so peaceful.

But how could peace have known you
When age twenty your body was at war?

You never married.
You never had children.

And as time goes by I miss you more and more
Because I realize I never really knew you at all.

What would your life have become?

Sometimes I dream of you
And you are alive,but sadly, you are
Always crippled or maimed.

Are you here on this earth again?

Would I know you if I saw you?

From a friend,
Patti Simcoe

A Note from The Virtual Wall

LCpl Schaffer was one of three Marines from Bravo 1/3 killed on 28 August 1969:
  • Capt Gerald H. Sampson, Williamsport, PA (Navy Cross);
  • 2ndLt Edward C. Hammerbeck, Arlington, VA; and
  • LCpl David T. Schaffer, Phoenix, AZ.
The Citation for Captain Sampson's Navy Cross describes what happened:
"In the early morning hours of 28 August 1969, Company B, occupying a night defensive position deep in hostile territory northwest of Cam Lo, was assaulted by a large North Vietnamese Army force employing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. In the initial onslaught, the second platoon commander was wounded and his sector of the perimeter was in grave danger of being breached by the enemy. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Sampson moved across the fire-swept terrain to the point of heaviest contact, rallied the beleaguered Marines, and began to direct their fire against the advancing North Vietnamese. During the fierce fire fight, he continually moved from one fighting position to another, instructing and encouraging his men and ensuring that the wounded received immediate treatment. While maneuvering across an exposed area on the foremost edge of the perimeter, Captain Sampson was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His unflagging determination and bold fighting spirit inspired his men to heroic efforts and were instrumental in turning a critical situation into an overwhelming Marine victory."
2ndLt Hammerbeck was the Platoon Commander mentioned in the Citation.

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