“The Youngest American to Die in the Vietnam War”
Dan Bullock (December 21, 1953 – June 7, 1969) was a United States Marine and the youngest U.S. serviceman killed in action during the Vietnam War, dying at the age of 15.
Bullock was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He lived in North Carolina until he was about 12, when his mother died and he and his younger sister, Gloria, moved to Brooklyn to live with their father and his wife. He said he wanted to become a pilot, a police officer, or a U.S. Marine.
When he was 14 years old, he altered the date on his birth certificate to show that he was born December 21, 1949. He processed through the recruiting station, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on September 18, 1968. He was a member of Platoon 3039 at Parris Island. At first, he struggled to make it through, but was able to do so with the help of one of his fellow recruits. Bullock graduated from boot camp on December 10, 1968.
Private 1st Class Bullock arrived in the Republic of Vietnam on May 18, 1969, and was assigned as a rifleman in 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was stationed at An Hoa Combat Base, west of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province. Less than a month later on June 7, 1969, Bullock and three other Marines were occupying a bunker near the base airstrip when a People’s Army of Vietnam sapper unit attacked the base at night, throwing a satchel charge into the bunker killing all four Marines: Bullock was just 15-years old. He had been assigned to cleaning duty that night, but was transferred to the night watch after a Marine was wounded on night duty.
After he was interred, his gravesite did not have a marker. A Veteran’s marker was finally provided in 2000.
On June 7, 2003, a section of Lee Avenue in Brooklyn, where Bullock had lived since the age of 11, was renamed in his honor. In 2019, a North Carolina State historical marker honoring his life was erected near his childhood home in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Marine Corps League, Brooklyn #1, Detachment 217 holds a color guard memorial ceremony each June on Lee Avenue honoring Pfc. Bullock.