Cecil Wilbert Kittle Jr.
Cecil Wilbert Kittle Jr. was born March 15, 1940, in Glady, West Virginia, the son of Cecil and Omega Armentrout Kittle. Cecil had one brother and two sisters.
|Cecil attended Tygarts Valley High School. On July 20, 1962, he married Betty Irene Wilt in Elkins, West Virginia. They had two sons, Richard Nicholas and Randall Lee.|
Cecil Kittle entered the Army in July 1958. He served several tours of duty in Europe and, in 1961, was involved with activities surrounding the Berlin Wall crisis. In September 1965, Cecil Kittle, now a sergeant, arrived in Vietnam. He was a member of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, which was engaged in the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War on Chu Pong Mountain. He served as a gunner on a helicopter and as a paratrooper. In November 1965 the military was taking in troops by helicopter to a clearing in the La Drang Valley in an effort to locate the North Vietnamese Army, and Sergeant Kittle was part of this operation. The Americans were attacked by an overwhelming number of North Vietnamese, and more than 300 troops were killed during the fighting. One of them was Sergeant Cecil W. Kittle, who died on November 17 of wounds received during the second North Vietnamese attack. Sergeant Kittle’s second son, Randall Lee, was born a month after his death.
|He is buried in the Old Brick Cemetery in Huttonsville along with his parents and other family members. Sergeant Cecil Wilbert Kittle is memorialized on panel 3E, Row 82, of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. and on the Barbour County Vietnam War Memorial.|
In 2014 the West Virginia Legislature authorized the renaming of a bridge in Randolph County in honor of Sgt. Kittle. The renaming was due in large part to the efforts of his sister, Carolyn Kittle, and son, Randall Lee Kittle. Sponsored by Senators Barnes and Tucker, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1 names the former Becky’s Creek Bridge as the “U.S. Army Sgt. Cecil W. Kittle, Jr., Memorial Bridge.”
Sergeant Cecil W. Kittle received the Bronze Star Medal with V Device for heroism and valor for his courageous actions against hostile forces at the Battle of la Drang Valley. This much decorated soldier also was the recipient of a Purple Heart, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Seventh Cavalry Garry Owen Patch, and the Combat Infantry Badge. During the bridge renaming process, officials learned that Kittle had not received the Bronze Star or the Combat Infantry Badge. They were presented to his family at the bridge dedication ceremony on Saturday, July 19, 2014.
West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.
Veterans Memorial Database
West Virginia Veterans Memorial
West Virginia Archives and History