Walter K. Singleton

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Walter Keith Singleton
Singleton WK.jpg  A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Walter K. Singleton, Medal of Honor recipient
Nickname(s) Zeke
Born (1944-12-07)December 7, 1944
Memphis, Tennessee
Died March 24, 1967(1967-03-24) (aged 22)
Gio Linh District, South Vietnam
Place of burial Memory Hill Gardens (now Memphis Memorial Gardens), Memphis, Tennessee
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1963-1967
Rank USMC-E5.svg Sergeant
Unit 1st Battalion, 9th Marines
Battles/wars Vietnam War 
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Walter Keith Singleton (December 7, 1944– March 24, 1967) was a United States Marine Sergeant who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in March 1967 during the Vietnam War. The award was presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Biography[edit]

Walter Keith Singleton was born on December 7, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated from Bartlett High School there in June 1963.

On August 1, 1963, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Memphis and integrated into the Regular Marine Corps the following September.

Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, he completed recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion in February 1964. Upon completion of recruit training, he was promoted to private first class.

Transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he was assigned duty as ammo-carrier with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division until November 1965. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, he was promoted to Lance Corporal on October 1, 1964 and to Corporal on August 1, 1965.

Corporal Singleton returned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island and served as an instructor with the Weapons Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, with the additional duty of training marksmanship to Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. While performing this additional duty, he received a letter of appreciation for qualifying 100 percent of the Officers-to-be.

Prior to departure from the United States, Cpl Singleton was promoted to Sergeant on September 1, 1966. On November 13, 1966, he joined Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9), 3rd Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam and served as supply sergeant with that unit. On March 24, 1967, 1/9 began Operation Prairie III; that same day, in the Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province, Sergeant Singleton's company came under intense enemy fire, and he was mortally wounded after he had advanced from his relatively safe position in the rear to move the numerous wounded away from the enemy kill zone. Before he was cut down by hostile fire, he also managed to make an assault on the enemy position, killing eight and driving the remainder away. It was for these acts of bravery, which had saved many of his comrades' lives, that he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

He is buried next to his parents at Memory Hill Gardens (now Memphis Memorial Gardens) at 3700 N Germantown Road in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Honors[edit]

Several places and groups are named in honor of Sgt. Walter K. Singleton.

  • Sgt. Walter K. Singleton Parkway, which runs from Memphis to the Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tennessee. A historical marker has been erected at the southern terminus of Singleton Parkway at Austin Peay Highway.
  • Singleton Hall, a barracks on the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia
  • Singleton Community Center located in Bartlett, Tennessee
  • Sgt. Walter K. Singleton Park on Castleman Street in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Sgt. Walter K. Singleton Marine Corps League in Memphis, Tennessee Link

Awards and decorations[edit]

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnamese Service Medal with one bronze star, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Bronze star
Medal of Honor Purple Heart Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star Vietnam Military Merit Medal Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

SERGEANT WALTER K. SINGLETON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SGT Singleton's company was conducting combat operations when the lead platoon received intense small arms, automatic weapons, rocket, and mortar fire from a well entrenched enemy force. As the company fought its way forward, the extremely heavy enemy fire caused numerous friendly casualties. Sensing the need for early treatment of the wounded, SGT Singleton quickly moved from his relatively safe position in the rear of the foremost point of the advance and made numerous trips through the enemy killing zone to move the injured men out of the danger area. Noting that a large part of the enemy fire was coming from a hedgerow, he seized a machine gun and assaulted the key enemy location, delivering devastating fire as he advanced. He forced his way through the hedgerow directly into the enemy strong point. Although he was mortally wounded, his fearless attack killed 8 of the enemy and drove the remainder from the hedgerow. SGT Singleton's bold actions completely disorganized the enemy defense and saved the lives of many of his comrades. His daring initiative selfless devotion to duty and indomitable fighting spirit reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and his performance upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

/S/ LYNDON B. JOHNSON

In memory[edit]

The name Walter K. Singleton is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ("The Wall") on panel 17E, line 039.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Inline
  1. ^ "Walter Singleton, SGT, Marine Corps". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
General
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

External links[edit]