Brian James Gauthier

Photo added by D.C. Adams

Brian James Gauthier

Corporal US Marine Corps
Unit: A CO 1ST BN 3RD MARS
Service Occupation: Rifleman
Decoration: Navy Cross

Published "The Town Talk" Alexandria, Louisiana
May 25, 2012

Ignoring his wounds, Marine Cpl. Brian James Gauthier spent his final two hours alive directing and leading his squad in action against the Viet Cong.

Those actions on July 11, 1965, earned Gauthier the Navy Cross, the nation's second-highest award for valor on the battlefield. Gauthier, a Mansura native, and David Brooks Robinson, an Alexandria native who also earned a Navy Cross in Vietnam, will be among 11 veterans inducted Saturday into the Louisiana Military Hall of Fame in Abbeville.

Gauthier, a rifle squad leader, was moving his unit into an ambush position about eight miles southwest of DaNang when a mine detonated. The unit then came under enemy fire.

"Although wounded in the initial blast, he persistently refused medical aid until all of the casualties had been treated," Gauthier's Navy Cross citation says, "meanwhile, reorganizing his squad, establishing a defensive position around the wounded and directing fire against the enemy."

A helicopter was called and attempted to evacuate the wounded but was driven away by Viet Cong machine gunfire.

"For a period of over two hours," Gauthier's citation says, "he continued to shout encouragement and direction to his men until he succumbed to his wounds."

Gauthier's body was returned to Mansura. He was buried in Avoyelles Parish.

"It was the biggest funeral I have ever seen in Mansura, and I was an alter boy who served at a lot of funerals," said Johnny Gauthier, an older brother who still lives in the area.

Johnny is the only immediate family member alive. Their brother Maxie, an Army veteran, died in 2010. The brothers have kept James' memory alive all these years. His medals are on display at the USS Kidd, a retired Navy destroyer that serves as a military museum in Baton Rouge.

"For years, the medals were at Maxie's house," Johnny Gauthier said. "We were the only two who were able to see them. We wanted to put them somewhere where others could see them."

A flag pole also was installed near James Gauthier's grave.

"We raise a flag on every legal holiday, on his birthday (Nov. 22) and on the anniversary of his death," Johnny Gauthier said.


Family Members

Siblings

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  • Created by: Jerry Bordelon
  • Added: 30 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55664227
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Brian James Gauthier (20 Nov 1944–11 Jul 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55664227, citing Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Cemetery, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Jerry Bordelon (contributor 46879940) .