Duwayne SoulierPrivate First Class
HQ CO, 7TH COMMUNICATIONS BN, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
31 December 1946 - 01 May 1967
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The database page for Duwayne Soulier
TO A FELLOW LEATHERNECK ...
I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1994. I purchased a bracelet bearing your name outside the front gate of Camp LeJeune NC after completing my initial combat training. I wore it during my 4 years of active duty. While I served I constantly reminded myself to wear my uniform with pride and dignity ... not just for me, but also for the Marines before me who gave their lives for the rest of us.
While I deployed with my unit to foriegn soil, I was sometimes struck with feelings of loneliness ... during these periods of time I specifically thought of you and how alone you must have felt, away from home, missing family and friends ... aboard a helicopter ... traveling to a valley of the unknown. Now your name is on a wall in Washington DC. During my last visit there I looked it up and shed a tear ... I only know you from a name on a bracelet but you provided silent inspiration during my time in the Corps. Thank you for your sacrifice ... Semper Fidelis.
PFC Duwayne Soulier was listed as "missing in action" when the helicopter he was aboard crashed over water in South Vietnam on May 1, 1967. He was 20 years old.
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 1 May 1967, a CH-46A SEA KNIGHT (BuNo 150268) from HMM-165 was transporting sick and wounded Marines from the Chu Lai Air Field to the US Navy hospital ship USS SANCTUARY stationed in the South China Sea. The CH-46, with 17 men aboard, was using the call sign Buffalo City 2-2 and was number two in a flight of two. The lead aircraft, Buffalo City 2-1, had litter patients, while 2-2 was carrying ambulatory patients. 2-2 maintained a low orbit overhead SANCTUARY while 2-1 landed, off-loaded, and took aboard troops returning for duty. On completion, 2-1 lifted off and 2-2 prepared to land.
Buffalo City 2-2 lost power on approach and made a soft landing in 8-10 foot swells. Within seconds, the heavy seas rolled the helicopter on its starboard side and the aircraft began sinking. Although the crew was able to evacuate all the patients, the speed with which the aircraft sank precluded deployment of life-saving gear. Buffalo City 2-1 promptly landed aboard SANCTUARY, discharged passengers, and shifted into a SAR mode. In addition, SANCTUARY launched boats.
Air and surface SAR efforts recovered 9 of the 17 men alive, but 8 died:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 May 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009