David Ralph Wilson

The Memorial Chapel at Hawk Mountain Camp is dedicated to the memory of Scouts who died while serving their country. The first name on the plaque that hangs about the archway at the entrance is David Ralph Wilson.

Plaque attached to the archway at the entrance to the Memorial Chapel at Hawk Mountain Camp.

David Ralph Wilson was born on April 18, 1944. He was a Scout in Oreland Troop 1 from 1955 through 1963, and attended Springfield High School. While in Troop 1, he earned the rank of Eagle.

Photograph of David Ralph Wilson.

He attended Pennsylvania Military College, and was commissioned during the Commencement Exercises of 1966.

David was killed in action in Vietnam on January 31, 1968. He was 24 years old.

He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his outstanding leadership and heroism for saving the lives of many of his men.

The Silver Star citation for 1LT Wilson reads:

For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, 1LT Wilson, Transportation Corps, U.S. Army, distinguished himself on 31 January 1968 while serving Commander of a supply convoy in the Republic of Vietnam. Wilson’s convoy was subjected to fire by an enemy force. Although he was safely out of the danger zone, he unhesitatingly returned to the scene of the action to lead his men to safety. Many of the vehicles had halted in the kill zone and were subject to an intense enemy mortar and small arms fire. Passing through the ambush zone, 1LT Wilson, with complete disregard for his own safety, turned around and reentered the kill zone to insure the safe passage of the rear element of the convoy. While making this final courageous effort to insure the survival of these personnel, he was mortally wounded by an enemy mortar round falling on his vehicle. Through his extraordinary heroism and outstanding leadership ability, 1LT Wilson was able to save the lives of many of his personnel who otherwise would have been halted in the kill zone subject to the most intense enemy fire. 1Lt Wilson’s personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

In 2003, an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Orlando was named in his honor.

David’s sacrifice is remembered on Panel 36E, Line 43 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.