Walter Phillip Seel, Jr

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
United States Navy
03 October 1946 - 25 February 1969
Moorestown, New Jersey
Panel 31W Line 058

Silver Star

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Walter Phillip Seel, Jr

23 Feb 2006

Walter P. Seel Jr. was a Navy Hospital Corpsman assigned to Golf 3/12 3rd MARDIV in the northern I corps in the RVN. I first meet Phil (as he liked to be called) when I reported to Golf 3/12 3rd MARDIV in December of 1968. Being new, Phil took me under his wing and began to teach me the ropes of being a Corpsman in a combat zone. He was soft spoken and I never heard him raise his voice in anger to anyone. The Marines of Golf battery respected Phil and this made it easier to complete his job of being a Corpsman. The closeness between Phil and myself was like that of brothers, which in a way we were. Without Phil, I would have been lost.

On 25 February 1969, Phil was killed on FSB Neville. He died doing his job as a Navy Corpsman. A piece of me died when I lost a great and gentle friend. As I am sure his family felt a deep sadness, I at the same time also felt this terrible sadness that has stayed with me since that day. Rest easy, Phil. You have completed everything you were assigned. Now you can take care of your Marines in heaven. Semper Fi.

David L. Lally

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Fire Support Bases NEVILLE and RUSSELL were west of Cam Lo, with NEVILLE the westernmost of the two. In late February 1969, NEVILLE was occupied by Golf Btry 3/12 with Hotel Company, 2/4 as a security force. Five miles to the east, FSB RUSSELL had Hotel and Mortar Btries, 3/12, and elements of 2/4 as a security force - primarily Echo 2/4, but also elements of H&S Company.

In the early morning hours of 25 Feb 1969 both bases were hit hard by NVA sappers - about 200 from the 246th NVA Regiment at NEVILLE and an equal number from the 27th NVA Regiment at RUSSELL. In each case the attacks began with heavy mortar fire and supporting artillery fire from within the DMZ, followed by a ground attack clearly intended to destroy the artillery pieces in their gun pits. In each case the enemy partially overran the base, and in each case the Marines drove them out again. When the sun rose, the Marines had over three dozen dead and 100+ wounded, while there were 61 enemy bodies inside the two perimeters - but the guns sustained no serious damage and were firing.

The 14 Americans killed at FSB NEVILLE were

  • Golf 3/12:
    • HM2 Walter P. Seel, Moorestown, NJ (H&S with Golf Btry)
    • Cpl Jeffrey M. Barron, La Puente, CA (Silver Star)
    • LCpl Thomas H. Mc Grath, Homewood, IL (Silver Star)

  • Hotel 2/4:
    • Cpl Gerald D. Zawadzki, Brooklyn, OH
    • LCpl Steven V. Garcia, Phoenix, AZ
    • HM3 John M. Sullivan, El Cajon, CA (H&S with Hotel 2/4)
    • Pfc Raymond L. Flint, Skaneateles, NY
    • Pfc Walter L. Lamarr, Sturtevant, WI
    • Pfc Samuel C. Macon, Delray Beach, FL
    • Pfc David A. Mallory, Huntsville, AL
    • Pfc Royce E. Roe, Pewaukee, WI
    • Pfc Carey W. Smith, Doraville, GA
    • Pfc Willie F. Smith, Houston, TX
    • Pfc Michael L. Zappia, Des Moines, IA
There were 27 dead Marines at FSB RUSSELL - 18 infantrymen from 2/4 and 9 artillerymen from 3/12.

Petty Officer Seel was buried in Plot L 2218, Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, New Jersey, on 13 March 1969. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for heroism, and "Seel Hall" at the Philadelphia Naval Base is dedicated to him.

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --

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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