Duncan Balfour Sleigh

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
13 April 1945 - 06 November 1968
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Panel 39W Line 030


Navy Cross

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Duncan Balfour Sleigh

11 Feb 2004

2ndLt Sleigh with his mother just before leaving for Vietnam

He died as he had lived,
putting others before himself.

One minute he was smiling that so familiar smile and then he was gone forever...
but not from the hearts and memories of those who knew him.

From a friend in combat,
Phil Turner

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Duncan Balfour Sleigh
Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism as a platoon commander in Company M, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 6 November 1968. The company advanced in a sweep operation south of Hill 55 where it encountered a large North Vietnamese Army force and sustained heavy casualties at the first bitter engagement. The well entrenched enemy kept the company pinned down with rocket propelled grenades and heavy small-arms and automatic-weapons fire, making evacuation of casualties a hazardous chore. As the company pressed the attack, the wounded and dead were moved toward the rear where Second Lieutenant Sleigh was directing the establishment of a landing zone. Taking charge of the critical situation, Second Lieutenant Sleigh strategically deployed his men to return suppressive fire and at the same time maintained control of the evacuation. Two helicopter landings were attempted, and on the second effort a rocket propelled grenade landed near the wounded who were being treated. Observing the danger to the wounded, Second Lieutenant Sleigh crawled to one casualty and lay huddled over him as a shield when another rocket propelled grenade landed less than a meter away, instantly killing Second Lieutenant Sleigh. He thus absorbed most of the shock with his body, not only saving the life of one Marine, but also preventing injury to others near him. His valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit inspired all the men of the company who observed his last brave act. Second Lieutenant Sleigh's heroism reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Mike Company, 3/7 Marines, lost eight men on 6 Nov 1968 in an engagement south of Hill 55, about 8 kilometers northeast of the Liberty Bridge:

  • 2nd Lt Duncan B. Sleigh, Marblehead, MA (Navy Cross)
  • SSgt Raymond G. Skaggs, New Boston, OH
  • Cpl Gerald C. Mullin, Mount Clemens, MI
  • Cpl Gerald R. Peterson, Quincy, MA
  • LCpl William G. Camp, Fresno, CA
  • LCpl Rafael Soler, New York, NY
  • PFC Edward D. Henry, North Clarendon, VT
  • PFC James M. Timmons, Groveport, OH (Navy Cross)
PFC Timmons responded to the RPG fire as did 2nd Lt Sleigh - and he died in exactly the same manner as 2nd Lt Sleigh.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Feb 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009