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SSGT Larry Stanley Pierce

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SSGT Larry Stanley Pierce

  • Birth 6 Jul 1941
  • Death 20 Sep 1965
  • Burial Wasco, Kern County, California, USA
  • Plot Lot 63, Grave L
  • Memorial ID 7862256

Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He received the US military's highest award for action taken on September 20, 1965, near Ben Cat, Republic of Vietnam. His family moved from Oklahoma to Taft, California when he was young. He joined the US Army from Fresno, California in 1961, and by September 1965, he was serving as a sergeant in the Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. On September 20th he smothered the blast of an anti-personnel mine with his body, sacrificing his life to protect his fellow soldiers and for his actions, his family was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on February 24, 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson in a ceremony at the White House, and he promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he also received a Purple Heart. In February 2008, the post office in Taft, California was renamed the "Larry S. Pierce Post Office" in his honor and a portion of California State Route 46 which runs through Wasco was designated the "Staff Sgt. Larry S. Pierce Memorial Highway" in 2009. His Medal of Honor citation reads: "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 machinegun 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 antipersonnel 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's 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."

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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S Sgt 503 INF 173 ABN BDE






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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7862256
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT Larry Stanley Pierce (6 Jul 1941–20 Sep 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7862256, citing Wasco Memorial Park, Wasco, Kern County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .