221st Signal Company (Pictorial)
U.S. Army Vietnam
Southeast Asia Pictorial Center
1967 - 1972
221st Crest
David Allen Russell, Age 21
MOS: 84C20: Motion Picture Specialist
Killed by enemy gun or small arms fire.

      David Allen Russell was killed in action while on a combat photo mission in the Mekong delta, Chau Doc Province.  His brother, Donald, remembers being told that David was the only photographer in the field that day and that David was the first to see the sniper ahead.  David’s last act was to warn the others behind him of the danger.

            The Russell family still keeps the memory of David alive. In 2009, as he had done every year,  David's father, Dick, had the Sunday Mass on March 15th at St. Francis Xavier dedicated to David for the 40th Anniversary of his death.  It's always been ironic to the family that David died on St. Patrick's day. David's brother, Donald, was there when they got the news, "I can remember when the two Army men came to our house and personally informed my father .. immediately tears were flowing .. all I could think of was Mom .. she wasn't home .. Dad wanted to be with her when she found out .. when she did find out she was devastated .. the Army said David was a hero. He gave his life for his country. Our family could only think that we had lost a son and a brother. We loved David. He was kind and caring and giving and all the wonderful things a brother could be .... and he could throw a baseball as hard anyone"  

       From the age of 8, David's big passion was baseball.  He was good at it.  So good that he eventually was given a tryout as a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.  He was an avid American league fan.

       David's interest in photography developed after high school when he got a job at the Naval Air Station. Eventually, he was assigned to photograph aircraft on the catapult on large carriers including Enterprise, Kitty Hawk, Lexington and others.  This led to David joining the Army and being assigned to the 221st Signal Company in Vietnam where he had assignments as varied as boxing matches and covering Evangelist Billy Graham's tour. The family remembers that David had purchased a special camera while in Vietnam and hoped to work in photography when he was out of the service.  

       David has three sisters and five brothers.  David's younger brother, Donald, served five years in the Air Force and another 32 years at Pax River for the Navy as a government service employee. Donald, and the Russell family, would be very grateful to hear from anyone who knew David donaldrussell20659@yahoo.com





David won a Bronze Star for Valor in a previous action.