The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S.
Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date:
Plei Djerang, Republic of Vietnam, 19 November 1966. Entered service at:
Huntington, W . Va. Born: 21 July 1924, Accoville, W . Va.
Distinguishing himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life.
Sgt. Belcher's unit was engaged in a search and destroy mission with Company B, 1st
Battalion, 14th Infantry, the Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon and a special forces
company of civilian irregular defense group personnel. As a squad leader of the 2d Platoon
of Company C, Sgt. Belcher was leading his men when they encountered a bunker complex. The
reconnaissance platoon, located a few hundred meters northwest of Company C, received a
heavy volume of fire from well camouflaged snipers. As the 2d Platoon moved forward to
assist the unit under attack, Sgt. Belcher and his squad, advancing only a short distance
through the dense jungle terrain, met heavy and accurate automatic weapons and sniper
fire. Sgt. Belcher and his squad were momentarily stopped by the deadly volume of enemy
fire. He quickly gave the order to return fire and resume the advance toward the enemy. As
he moved up with his men, a hand grenade landed in the midst of the sergeant's squad.
Instantly realizing the immediate danger to his men, Sgt. Belcher, unhesitatingly and with
complete disregard for his safety, lunged forward, covering the grenade with his body.
Absorbing the grenade blast at the cost of his life, he saved his comrades from becoming
casualties. Sgt. Belcher's profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the
U.S. Army and reflect credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.