CPL Richard Douglas Wellman, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Gastonia, NC.
Corporal Richard Douglas Wellman was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army, CPL Wellman served our country until August 13th, 1969 in Quang Nagai, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was married. It was reported that Richard died from multiple fragmentation wounds from a mine. His body was recovered. Richard was born on August 3rd, 1949 in Gastonia, North Carolina. CPL Wellman is on panel 19W, line 036 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for less than a year.
We were high school classmates. I remember poker games as a teenager. I was in Nam with the USMC when I heard Richard was killed while he was in the hospital with Malaria. Rocket attack or sappers, I never knew which. A tough way to die, unable to fight back, R.S. McCarthy.
Army Cpl Richard Douglas Wellman will posthumously receive the Military Merit Medal and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm for heroism from the Government of Vietnam. He would have been 21 years old Monday. Cpl Wellman died August 13, 1969 during hostile action, on a Vietnamese Battlefield. The battle was fierce that day just northwest of Quang Ngai City. Wellman's unit was part of a concentrated sweep with intent to engage the enemy and destroy them. Contact was made, Wellman spotted the enemy, moved forward and opened fire. He was able to kill two enemy soldiers before being mortally wounded himself. His "outstanding courage and leadership allowed his fellow soldiers to work strategic positions. The enemy was defeated". Wellman's bravery did not go unnoticed.
He had received the Bronze Star with One Oak Leaf Cluster, The Purple Heart Medal, The Army Commendation Medal, The Good Conduct Medal, and The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB). Prior to his death, he had earned The National Defense Service Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Vietnamese Campaign Ribbon; and a Bronze Star.
His parents, Mr and Mrs Marshall R Wellman, and his widow, the former Miss Debra Newber, will accept these latest honors in his name. I'll be so glad when I get back to the world was the words Richard Wellman said, often tape-recorded or wrote home from Vietnam. Before he left for Vietnam, he told his Dad that he wanted to be a man. I think that he was very much a man, don't you? Born in Gastonia, Wellman enlisted in the Army in October 1968, and completed Basic Training at Fort Bragg. His tour of duty in Vietnam lasted 5 months.
He served with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, USARV.
He was awarded The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), The Bronze Star Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, The Army Commendation Medal, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Merit Medal, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal and The National Defense Service Medal.
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