Hall of Fame Marine Laid to Rest

Thursday, November 13th 2008, 2:53 pm
By: News 9

by Darren Brown, News9.com Insite team

PURCELL, Okla -- Growing up in Madill, Oklahoma, V.D. Mitchell never dreamed that his natural ability would make him famous someday, but the rest of can be thankful that it did.

Deloris Mitchell remembers the days when she and her future husband were kids in rural Oklahoma, and how V.D. was a great shot even then.

"He was a fisherman and a rifleman," she said.  "He could shoot the tips off a barbed wire fence." 

Those skills he picked up in Oklahoma served him well, as he became one of the Marines' most decorated snipers.

Mitchell served in WWII and Korea, but by the time the Marines needed him to train snipers in Vietnam, he had already been retired for three years. 

But at 41 years old, Mitchell didn't hesitate.

Mitchell's exploits and courage in Vietnam are chronicled in several books by John Culbertson, himself a Vietnam veteran.

"I think not only was he the best, but he had an ability to tell a student that he cared vitally about your survival, and that's what these deals were--he was trying to teach us how to stay alive," Culbertson said. 

Mitchell was one of thirteen Oklahomans inducted in to the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame on November 11, 2008.

Here's a full list of those inducted into the Hall of Fame:

Col. Robert Abraham, Technical Sgt. Paul J. Andert, Lt. Col. Karl K. Dittmer, Gen. Tommy Franks, Gunnery Sgt. V.D. Mitchell, Sgt Elmer J. Morris, Maj. Gen. Stanley F.H. Newman, Lt. Col. James C. Null, First Sgt. Cletus Poolaw, Capt. Lester T. Snow, Cpl. Samuel L. Sampler, Cpl. Harold L. Turner, Col. Jack L. Treadwell