Louis E. Willett - An American Hero

Our Troop is proud to count among our ranks a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor -- Louis E. Willett. Presented below is Louie's biography as presented in the program for the Troop's 50th Anniversary.

The Congressional Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award for “uncommon valor” by service members in the armed forces. It is given for actions that are above and beyond the call of duty in combat against an armed enemy. It is generally presented to the recipient by the President of the United States on behalf of Congress.

Louie was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his bravery under fire during action in Viet Nam on February 15, 1967.
Author's Note:

Louie's death in 1967 greatly affected me. At the time, I was a 14 year old Scout in Troop 273. After Louie was killed in action in Viet Nam, the entire Troop attended his funeral Mass when his body was returned to the States. His death signaled an increase in our national involvement in the Viet Nam war: it also signaled an increase in American casualties as well as a growing anti-war movement.

I felt very connected to Louie although I did not know him that well. Although he was 7 years older than me, we both grew up in Richmond Hill, we both went to SBJL grammar school and we both were Troop 273 Scouts. Louie graduated from Archbishop Molloy HS: I was going to start freshman year at Archbishop Molloy during September 1967.

All of us young boys in 1967 were rapidly approaching draft age. We knew that pretty soon, it would be our turn. Another factor weighing heavily on my mind was that my father, a career army NCO, would ship out to Viet Nam himself during May 1967, just 3 months after Louie's funeral. Needless to say, I was very concerned for his safety.

Be thou at peace, Louie. In a day when the word "hero" is used much too often, you are a true American hero.