Lubbock High School Class of 1954
A Tribute To Don Witt
Lt. Commander Don Witt
I owed him a letter when he died in the murky waters of the Mekong River while passing out food rations to a few starving South Vietnamese. That was thirty-eight years ago, in 1968.
His death was like so many others, felt…and not seen…but brought close at hand as we watched the sweeping Texas rain setting in… as final taps was played over his flag-draped, dark mahogany coffin …while memories of a last winter’s visit still endowed us with his boyish, but natural thoughtfulness …mixed with a gritty willingness to risk his life patrolling the Mekong .. .yet taking time to sate the hunger of a few starving people half a world away.
As I watched his wife weep while holding the hands of their two small children, my thought was then: “A friend and a kind and decent man has left far too early.”
My thought today—as an old man— is why couldn’t it have been a sleezy type…Lay, Kozwoloski, or Ebbers? What a marvelous trade fate could have made…even greater than the Bosox selling Ruth to the Yanks.
February 18, 2006
September 4, 2011
Thought that this might be a link to add to the web site regarding Don Witt. It has an excellent picture of Don Shell Cunningham.
First click on a state.
When it opens, scroll down to the city and the names will appear.
Then click on their names. It should show you a picture of the person, or at least their bio and medals.
This really is an amazing web site.
Someone spent a lot of time and effort to create it.
I hope that everyone who receives this appreciates what those who served in Vietnam sacrificed for our country.
The link below is a virtual wall of all those lost during the Vietnam war with the names, bio’s and other information on our lost heroes.
Those who remember that time frame, or perhaps lost friends or family can look them up on this site.
Pass the link on to others, as many knew wonderful people whose names are listed.
(Note by Joe Dale Bryan. Football players George
(LHS ’47) and Charles Brewer (LHS ’52) were
Robert Brewer’s younger brothers. The Brewer and
Bryan family have been good friends since 1930. I
was told that Robert Brewer and the other man safely
parachuted down and were shot on the ground by the
This is further verified in Stephen E. Ambrose’s 2001 book
The Wild Blue, Chapter 3, page 88 and Chapter 5, page
146 where it says from his interview with the commander
of the B-24 ” They were now over Yugoslavia and all of
them, including Shostack, parachuted down safely, but
three of them were shot on the ground by SS troops who
claimed they were terrorists. “They didn’t give them a
chance.” Robert Brewer’s body was reburied in the City
of Lubbock Cemetery after the war.)
Don, a great guy