During the Vietnam War, Samuel Felton, Jr. (black) and Robert Witty, Jr. (white) joined the Marines together, went to boot camp together, come home on leave together and went to Vietnam together. In Vietnam they got assigned to different units, but they agreed to reunite at the airport in 13 months, the tour of duty at that time.
While in Vietnam on June 11, 1969, Vietnam forces attacked the sector that Felton's company defended. Felton spotted three of their men stranded. He requested help to go out and retrieve them. His platoon leader claimed that he could not spare any manpower in the chaotic circumstances and that he would have to do it by himself.
Felton quickly reached the men and found one man with his abdomen open from a grenade, another Marine with shrapnel in his eyes and a third suffering from concussion. After patching up the most severely wounded, Felton carried him on his back while the other two followed. Enemy soldiers surprised them in the dark, shooting Felton in the shoulder. Felton managed to kill them, and continued on to deliver them to the aid station before returning to battle.
The next day, a helicopter evacuated the wounded, including Felton. After doctors on the USS Repose extricated the bullet, the Marines sent him to leadership school while he recovered. Felton eventually rejoined his unit. He completed three tours in Vietnam before leaving the Marines in 1972.
He received the Navy Cross for his gallantry.
He then began looking for his former buddy Robert Witty to no avail. Decades later, Felton discovered his friend's name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. They should never be forgotten.
Please keep all of our military personnel and their families in your prayers.
Charles R. Pearson
Chaplain, MalvernLegion Post 375