Medal of Honor



Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade


Place and date: Near Ben Cat, Republic of Vietnam, 20 September 1965


Entered service at: Fresno, California


Born: 6 July 1941, Wewoka, Oklahoma




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Pierce was serving as squad leader in a reconnaissance platoon when his patrol was ambushed by hostile forces. Through his inspiring leadership and personal courage, the squad succeeded in eliminating an enemy machine gun and routing the opposing force. While pursuing the fleeing enemy, the squad came upon a dirt road and, as the main body of his men entered the road, Sgt. Pierce discovered an anti-personnel mine emplaced in the road bed. Realizing that the mine could destroy the majority of his squad, Sgt. Pierce saved the lives of his men at the sacrifice of his life by throwing himself directly onto the mine as it exploded. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, he averted loss of life and injury to the members of his squad. Sgt. Pierce extraordinary heroism, at the cost of his life, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of his country.








 Thanks to SSG David Bata for the above photograph


--- General / Personal ---


Last name: PIERCE


Home of Record (official): TAFT

State (official): CA

Date of Birth: Sunday, July 6, 1941

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Married


--- Military ---


Branch: Army

Rank: SSG

Serial Number: 19597808

Component: Regular

Posthumous promotion as indicated

Pay grade: E5

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11C40


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Thursday, March 4, 1965

Date of Casualty: Monday, September 20, 1965

Age at time of loss: 24

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Other explosive device (Ground casualty)

Country: South Vietnam

Province: Unknown/Not Reported

The Wall: Panel 02E - Row 091