PFC Christopher Hiawatha Bell

PFC Christopher Hiawatha Bell

Clinton, Sampson County, North Carolina, USA
Death 16 Mar 1968 (aged 20)
Huế, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Vietnam
Burial Kitty Fork, Sampson County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 17300750 · View Source
Suggest Edits

PFC Christopher Hiawatha Bell, Vietnam Veteran, Lumbee Native American, Native of Clinton, NC.

PFC Christopher Hiawatha Bell was a member of the Army. PFC Bell served our country until March 16th, 1968 in Thua Thien, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was not married. It was reported that Christopher died from small arms fire or grenade. His body was recovered. PFC Bell is on panel 44E, line 065 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for less than a year.

My sister and I went to high school with Chris. He was idolized by his classmates. Everyone wanted to be near him. We loved him very much and still think and talk of him often. He is not forgotten. Edie(Weaver)Cawley.

Chris, I still miss you. I still miss you even now. Thanks for being my forever friend. Your loyalty to your country, friends and family wil always be remembered. Roscoe Arnold Emanuel.

Hello Friends: Chris Bell attended Midway High School at Spivey's Corner, North Carolina. He was a basketball star, and everyone loved him. In fact, he was the most popular senior at our school. Everyone wanted to know him and to be his friend. When he was a senior, I was a lowly sophomore, but I went to all the basketball games to watch him win for our school. He had a charismatic personality and everyone simply wanted to be his friend.
Chris was a Native American of the Coharie tribe of Sampson County, NC. I grew up in the military as an Army Brat, and I am now a Vietnam War scholar and write about the war that changed everything for our generation. I teach courses about the Vietnam War at my university ( Kent State ), and I always pay tribute to my classmate and others I knew who served in Vietnam. Renate W. Prescott, Ph.D., Kent State University , Geauga Campus 14111 Claridon Troy Rd., Burton , OH 44021,

THE SAMPSONIAN (CLINTON, NC) March 28th, 1968. Funeral Services held Tuesday for Christopher Hiawatha Bell.
Funeral Services for PFC Christopher H. Bell, 20, of Route 1, Clinton, who was killed in Vietnam March 16 were conducted Tuesday at the New Bethel Baptist Church by the Reverend H.G. Ridought. Burial was in the church cemetery with full military honors. He was a native of Sampson County and a member of Coharie Methodist Church. Surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roger H. Bell; one brother, Kendull Bell; and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Lillie Whitehead, all of Clinton.

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Christopher Hiawatha Bell (RA12981516), Private First Class, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

Private First Class Bell distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during a search and destroy mission in enemy territory. Realizing the danger of the mission, Private Bell volunteered to be point man in place of his less experienced comrades. He came upon a fork in the trail, stopped the platoon and moved forward alone. He suddenly opened fire, killing an enemy soldier on the trail. The platoon was immediately pinned down by a vicious hail of enemy automatic weapons fire from at least three positions. Private Bell, trapped in front of the platoon, began placing a heavy volume of effective counterfire on the insurgents, allowing his platoon leader to deploy the lead squad. The enemy fire became so intense that the squad was soon immobilized as it tried to maneuver against the insurgents.

Realizing the precarious situation that was rapidly developing, Private Bell quickly went into action. He secured hand grenades from his rucksack, and began to crawl through the murderous barrage toward the enemy bunker putting out the heaviest volume of firepower. As he neared the position, he exposed himself to the fusillade to throw a grenade which destroyed the bunker and killed its occupants. The platoon was still receiving heavy automatic weapons fire, so he moved toward a second bunker and destroyed it with hand grenades. The platoon then began receiving fire from a position to its left flank, and Private Bell began moving towards the source. Once in range, he rose to throw a grenade and was struck by a burst of automatic weapons fire which knocked him to the ground. Ignoring his wound and completely disregarding his safety, he got to his feet and rushed forward. He was struck twice more by a burst from the enemy machine gun, but he continued to charge until he was close enough to throw a grenade into the bunker, destroying it.

Private First Class Bell's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 3762 (August 2, 1968) Home Town: Clinton, North Carolina.

He was the son of Mr and Mrs Roger H Bell, Route #3, Box 342A, Clinton, NC.

He served with Charlie Company, 502nd Infantry Regiment "Strike", 101st Airborne Division, "Screaming Eagles", USARV.

He was awarded The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), The Distinguised Service Cross, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

  • Created by: Tom Reece
  • Added: 4 Jan 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 17300750
  • wings214
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Christopher Hiawatha Bell (26 Jan 1948–16 Mar 1968), Find a Grave Memorial no. 17300750, citing New Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Kitty Fork, Sampson County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Tom Reece (contributor 46857744) .