Singleton served as an infantryman with the 2nd Marine Division (2nd Battalion/6th Marines) and as a marksmanship instructor at both Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the United States Naval Academy before being sent to war in Vietnam.
He arrived in Vietnam on November 13, 1966 and joined 1st Battalion/9th Marines, then part of the 3rd Marine Division. Forty-five years ago today - March 24, 1967 - Sergeant Singleton's company ran up against a deeply entrenched enemy force. They took heavy fire and heavy casualties. Walter Singleton took it upon himself to rescue his comrades and change the course of the battle. He gave his Corps and Country his life, and a grateful Nation gave him our highest honor.
From Medal of Honor Citations for the Vietnam War (M-Z):
*SINGLETON, WALTER K.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 March 1967. Entered service at: Memphis, Tenn. Born: 7 December 1944, Memphis, Tenn. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Singleton's company was conducting combat operations when the lead platoon received intense small arms, automatic weapons, rocket, and mortar fire from a well entrenched enemy force. As the company fought its way forward, the extremely heavy enemy fire caused numerous friendly casualties. Sensing the need for early treatment of the wounded, Sgt. Singleton quickly moved from his relatively safe position in the rear of the foremost point of the advance and made numerous trips through the enemy killing zone to move the injured men out of the danger area. Noting that a large part of the enemy fire was coming from a hedgerow, he seized a machinegun and assaulted the key enemy location, delivering devastating fire as he advanced. He forced his way through the hedgerow directly into the enemy strong point. Although he was mortally wounded, his fearless attack killed 8 of the enemy and drove the remainder from the hedgerow. Sgt. Singleton's bold actions completely disorganized the enemy defense and saved the lives of many of his comrades. His daring initiative selfless devotion to duty and indomitable fighting spirit reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and his performance upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.