David Wilson was born on October 4, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 17th birthday, October 4, 1954, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in December 1954. After completing Damage Controlman "A" School at NTC Norman, Oklahoma, he served with VF-32 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, from June to September 1955. Petty Officer Wilson attended Underwater Demolition Team Replacement training with Class 015 at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from September to November 1955, and then served with UDT-22 from December 1955 to June 1956. His next assignment was with UDT-21 from June 1956 to September 1958, followed by Signalman "A" School from October to November 1958. He served at U.S. Naval Submarine Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from November 1958 to August 1959, and then with UDT-12 at NAB Coronado, California, from August 1959 to December 1961. Petty Officer Wilson became a plankowner of SEAL Team ONE when it was formed on January 1, 1962, and he deployed to South Vietnam with his Team from January to July 1965. He again deployed to South Vietnam with SEAL Team ONE from April to August 1967, and from November 1968 until he was killed in action on January 14, 1969. David Wilson was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.
His 2nd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For meritorious service in connection with operations against the enemy from 25 November 1968 to 14 January 1969 as Platoon Leading Petty Officer and Grenadier with United States Navy SEAL Team, Detachment GOLF, in the Mekong Delta area of the Republic of Vietnam. Chief Petty Officer WILSON participated in twenty small unit combat operations and personally led nine missions in which direct contact was made with the enemy. On 13 December 1968, while on a mission in the enemy-infested Nam Can Forest, Chief Petty Officer WILSON's patrol took two Viet Cong in a sampan under fire, killing one and wounding another who fled to the opposite bank. Without hesitation, Chief Petty Officer WILSON swam to the sampan, captured it and with two of his team members made his way across the stream where the Viet Cong had fled into the jungle. After positioning his two team mates on the bank, he personally pursued the fleeing enemy inland. Seventy-five meters inland, he took three enemy personnel under fire, killing one and wounding the remaining two. On 14 January 1969, during a night mission, Chief Petty Officer WILSON's squad surprised three Viet Cong in a sampan and took them under fire. Two of the enemy were killed and one escaped into the dense foliage. During pursuit of the fleeing Viet Cong, Chief Petty Officer WILSON stepped on an enemy land mine and was mortally wounded. His outstanding leadership, thorough and meticulous planning, coupled with his exemplary professionalism enabled him to mold his platoon into a highly effective fighting unit. Chief Petty Officer WILSON's devotion to duty, exemplary initiative and courage under fire reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat "V" is authorized.