DAVID D. PEPPIN, JR., PFC, USMC
David Peppin, Jr. '69
Date of birth: August 1, 1947
Date of death: July 10, 1969
David left the Naval Academy shortly after Plebe Summer completed when he contracted double pneumonia. He was a native of McClean, Virginia.
David's loss by enemy fire in the Quang Nam province of Vietnam is detailed on page 110 of "Rice Paddy War". He was killed on July 10, 1969. At the time he was a member of Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division.
David's sister Catherine, at the US Naval Academy Alumni Association's Honor the Fallen Heroes event on November 12, 2016, said that he excelled in aptitude tests he took upon enlisting in the Marine Corps. Recognizing his intellect and abilities, the Marines presented him with the opportunity to attend OCS as as officer candidate. Not wanting to leave the Marines he had bonded with during basic training, he declined the opportunity and soon after departed for Vietnam.
David D. Peppin, Jr., who left our class and USNA in November 1965, enlisted several years later in the Marine Corps. PFC Peppin’s Vietnam tour of duty began in May 1969, and Dave was killed in ground combat on 10 July 1969 in Quang Nam, South Vietnam—just five weeks after the rest of us graduated. Dave’s remains were returned to the U.S. and his name is found on Panel 21W, Line 94 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
You raised your right hand I-Day at USNA, 30 June, 1965, and joined the Class of 1969. Within three months, you had contracted double pneumonia and, were regrettably, unable to keep up with studies and unforgiving physical demands of plebe indoctrination. You left quietly with but no option. But, you felt compelled to serve your country again - once fully well, You joined the U.S. Marines. So sadly, we now remember you as a patriot warrior and hero.
The Class now knows, after half a century passed, that you gave your last full measure in Viet Nam. But, sir, a hero's welcome and memory we do now give you. Your selfless sacrifice for country is not lost to your mates of 1969. James Morton Kelly, February 16, 2016
The video of the Naval Academy Alumni Association's Honor Our Fallen Heroes weekend for 2016 includes David's sister, Catherine.