Remembering 2LT Lewis Metcalfe Walling Jr.

2LT Lewis Metcalfe Walling Jr.
Hometown: Woonsocket, RI
Place of Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Hopkinton, MA
Killed In Action: 11 FEB 1962 – Vietnam War
2LT Lewis “Lew” Walling was a field artillery unit commander (MOS: 1193) assigned to the PSYWAR Department, Operations and Training (CATO), Military Assistance Advisory Group Vietnam, located in Saigon, South Vietnam, as a psychological warfare officer.
Previous to this assignment, he was an ROTC cadet and graduated Cum Laude from Harvard University. He conducted his initial officer training at Fort Sill, OK, before his selection for PSYWAR duties.
On 11 FEB 1962, Lew was part of a PSYWAR team, including SP4 Merrihew, on a SC-47 (tail # 15732) of the 1st Air Commando Wing under Operation Farm Gate. The two PSYWAR operatives were conducting a leaflet drop over the Vietnamese Central Highlands located in Bảo Lộc, Lâm Đồng Province, South Vietnam containing Lunar New Year celebration messages from U.S. President Kennedy and South Vietnam President Diem. Around 0800 local time the aircraft received enemy fire while flying at low altitude causing catastrophic damage to the aircraft, which subsequently crashed, killing all 8 onboard.
Lew is the first service-members from Rhode Island, and among the first U.S. military service-members/Special Operators to be killed during the Vietnam War.
Lew was posthumously awarded the Army Presidential Unit Citation, Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Aircrew Wings, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
His name is inscribed on Panel 1E Line 7 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
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