Michael Douglas Cruitt was born June 23, 1947 in Auburn, Alabama. He was the son of Paul Cruitt and Ann Catherine Brown. He attended Cullman High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps afterwards. He graduated from Parris Island on March 2, 1967 and began his tour in Vietnam on September 15, 1967.
Pfc. Cruitt was a machine gunner attached to the 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines, K Company. On January 21, 1968, Cruitt was killed in action by small arms fire in the Quang Tri province of South Korea. LCP Patrick J. Tesche remembered Cruitt saying, “I was with Michael on Hill 861. I was the A gunner. My heart is always with him.” Cruitt was just 20 years old when he was killed.
Cruitt was awarded the Purple Heart and is now buried in Enon Baptist Church Cemetery in Monroe County, Alabama. He is honored on Panel 35e, Line 4 on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. He is also memorialized on the Vietnam Memorial at Cullman’s Veterans Memorial Park.
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