Richard Winerfred Duncan

United States Marine Corps
20 October 1948 - 08 November 1967
Livermore, CA
Panel 29E Line 048

Navy Cross

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Richard W. Duncan

The database page for Richard Winerfred Duncan

Veterans' Day 2003

Richard W. Duncan

Although listed for Livermore, where his family had apparently moved, Richard graduated high school in the class of 1966 at Tracy High School. I knew him all the way through high school, and I want to see him honored with the others.

Richard is remembered elsewhere on the Internet, especially on my memorial on the "Combat Wife" site and the Mike 3/5 site.

Velda Solomon
Class of 1966, Tracy High School, Tracy CA

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the



United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Machine Gun Squad Leader with Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in the Republic of Vietnam on the afternoon of 8 November 1967. During Operation Essex, Corporal Duncan's company was attempting to seize a small but heavily fortified village in Quang Nam Province when it suddenly came under intense mortar and automatic weapons fire which killed the acting platoon commander and seven other Marines, and temporarily pinned down the lead platoon in a rice paddy. Quickly assessing the situation, Corporal Duncan displayed unusual courage, leadership and composure under fire, as he maneuvered his machine gun team across the open area to a position behind a dike. He directed a heavy volume of fire against the North Vietnamese Army force, suppressing its fire sufficiently to enable the Marines lying in the open field to move to relatively safe positions. As he was moving his team back to rejoin the platoon, he was painfully wounded. When a defensive perimeter was established and his squad was assigned to provide cover for the left flank, he ignored his own injury as he deployed his men and moved along the perimeter to insure their firing positions provided maximum security for their sector against hostile attacks. As darkness fell, the enemy force launched an assault but was repulsed by the extremely heavy volume of fire from Corporal Duncan's team. The enemy then commenced a grenade attack to destroy the Marines' firing positions. Observing one of his men completely exposed to the incoming grenades, Corporal Duncan, completely disregarding his own safety and intense pain of his wound, moved to aid his fellow Marine. When a grenade landed nearby, he fearlessly used his own body to shield the man. He repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy's fire, as he moved into the open to deliver covering fire while the squad reached more secure positions. After all members of his team had reached safety, Corporal Duncan was mortally wounded as he advanced to join his men at the new position. His bravery and daring actions throughout the engagement inspired his men to steadfastly maintain their position and repulse the fanatical enemy assault. By his courageous fighting spirit, bold initiative and unswerving devotion to duty at great personal risk, he upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Mike Company, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, lost twelve men in heavy fighting on 7, 8, and 9 November 1967:
  • 07 Nov:
    • 2LT Dale R. Loudin, Atwater, OH
    • CPL William W. Little, Bloomington, IL

  • 08 Nov:
    • SSG Howard L. Rogers, Portsmouth, VA
    • CPL Richard W. Duncan, Livermore, CA (Navy Cross)
    • CPL David L. Jones, Lincoln, IL
    • LCPL James L. Navarro, Nashville, GA
    • PFC Michael J. Callahan, Drexel Hill, PA
    • PVT Darrel E. Pruett, New Salem, IL

  • 09 Nov:
    • CPL Richard J. Giebe, Granite City, IL
    • CPL Peter A. Schrader, University City, MO (Silver Star)
    • PFC Kenneth W. Harris, Grays Knob, KY
    • PFC Max R. Idom, Forest, MS

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a classmate at Tracy High School,
Velda Solomon
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
13 Nov 2003

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index D
CA State Index . Panel 29E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 11/13/2003