*PIERCE, LARRY S.
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, Calif. Born: 6 July 1941, Wewoka,
Okla. G.O. No.: 7, 24 February 1966.
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.