James Patrick Witt
3RD PLT, D CO, 1ST BN, 7TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
04 September 1947 - 14 February 1969
Fairview Park, Ohio
Panel 32W Line 035
The database page for James Patrick Witt
10 Aug 2001
3rd Plt, Delta 1/7
The site linked above has 122 pictures of the unit Jim Witt served - Delta 1/7 Marines. The 3rd Platoon picture of 40 Marines taken March 1969 will be retaken at the Wall in DC on May 31, 2002. I have located about half of those fine men. After 32 years it seems like yesterday. We Remember.
"When you stand there, do not weep;
I am not there, I am not asleep."
"James was the Platoon Commander of Third Platoon for 37 days. He was killed on February 14, 1969 while at the front of 3rd Platoon (his Platoon) as it engaged a heavily fortified enemy headquarters in the area known as "Dodge City". He was an exceptional officer and person. June of 2000 some of us who were honored to serve with James were able to meet with his family and former fiancee who had not spoken with anyone from his unit since his death, some thiry one years ago. It was a very emotional time for everyone and I hope that we who served and knew James were able to convey to his loved ones what a special officer and person that James was. We who fought in battle with him will never forget him.
"He never asked anyone under his charge to do anything
that he himself would not do".
This photo was taken at the graduation ceremony for brand new Marine Second Lieutenants in June of 1968; Jim was age 21 and Bob 13.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the SILVER STAR posthumously to
JAMES PATRICK WITT
for service as set forth in the following
United States Marine Corps
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 14 February 1969, during a company-sized patrol in Quang Nam Province, the point element took the command post of a North Vietnamese Army company by surprise. One enemy soldier was killed, and the others hastily retreated to the security of fortified positions under cover of protective fire from a bunker emplacement 15 meters to the Marines' front. Realizing the advantage of immediate action, Second Lieutenant Witt deployed the lead squad on line and, while initiating an aggressive assault on the enemy bunker, received multiple wounds as he moved across the fire-swept terrain to direct the fire of his men. When another Marine started to his aid, he yelled for the man to get down as a hostile grenade detonated nearby, injuring him again. Although painfully wounded, Second Lieutenant Witt calmy briefed the Marine and delivered explicit directions regarding the course of action to be followed by his men. Subsequently, he was medically evacuated and succumbed to his wounds. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit's killing three hostile soldiers while overrunning the North Vietnamese Army position. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Second Lieutenant Witt upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
For the President,
J. L. Jones
Commandant of the Marine Corps
4 May 2005
Jim Witt was my uncle, I'm John-Paul Witt, Bob's son. I wasn't blessed to know my uncle, but from what I've read and heard.. he sets an example for me to follow.
Whatever I end up doing in my life (I'm currently a student at Notre Dame), I know that the path has been set for me. I know I need to have honor, and respect justice. I hope I can honor the warrior, honor the sacrifice my uncle made; he willingly sacrificed himself leading his men, so that my parents, and I, might be free.
Thanks for this site.
From his nephew,
30 Sep 2006
I'm James P. Witt's youngest sister, Carol.
My brother is forever etched in my mind as a young man who died much too young.
May we all strive to fight for what we believe in
and be the best that we can be!
From his sister,
Carol L. Wilms
Deer Run, Brecksvile, Ohio 44141
A Note from The Virtual Wall
On 14 Deb 1969 the Marines of Delta 1/7 lost three men; a fourth died the following day of wounds received:
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Aug 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009