William J. Schussler

Philadelphia Memorial Panel: Panel 27
National Memorial Panel / Row: West 17 / 114
Date of Birth: 03-Oct-1950
Neighborhood: Holmesburg
High School: Father Judge High School
Street: Marigold Place
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: PFC
Date of Casualty: 24-Oct-1969
Province of Casualty: Quang Ngai
"He would have followed the Marines into hell," recalled a relative. But Schussler was concerned about killing people, and in many ways was a pacifist, his family recalled. Upon graduation from Father Judge High School in June 1967, Schussler took a job as a refrigeration and air-conditioning apprentice at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. He enlisted in the Marines in January 1969 and was sent to Vietnam, where the private first class was assigned to Headquarters and Service Company of the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force. Schussler wrote to family and friends from Vietnam often, and in a poem sent to the Pennypack Woods Chit-Chat newspaper thanking neighbors for a package they had sent, expressed his feelings about being there: Now if I am going to die Please! Make it worth a cause Please for me. Tell my parents goodbye For I was fighting for this cause Not for these Vietnamese Schussler was more than just a big brother, his sister said. "He gave the word �friend� a better meaning of caring and helping," she said. "He loved his family and proved it not only by what he did . but how he did it," In high school, be was good friends with Francis X. Kane, another Philadelphian who died in Vietnam. Schussler was part of an elite Marine unit patrolling the jungle around the air base at Da Nang. He died on Oct. 24, 1969, near Binb Son in Quang Ngai Province, at the age of 19. Survivors included his parents, a brother and a sister.