Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Leslie Allen Bellrichard

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry,
    4th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 20, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Acting as a fire-team leader with Company C during combat operations Pfc. Bellrichard was with four fellow soldiers in a foxhole on their unit's perimeter when the position came under a massive enemy attack. Following a 30-minute mortar barrage, the enemy launched a strong ground assault. Pfc. Bellrichard rose in face of a group of charging enemy soldiers and threw hand grenades into their midst, eliminating several of the foe and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Failing in their initial attack, the enemy repeated the mortar and rocket bombardment of the friendly perimeter, then once again charged against the defenders in a concerted effort to overrun the position. Pfc. Bellrichard resumed throwing hand grenades at the onrushing attackers. As he was about to hurl a grenade, a mortar round exploded just in front of his position, knocking him into the foxhole and causing him to lose his grip on the already armed grenade. Recovering instantly, Pfc. Bellrichard recognized the threat to the lives of his four comrades and threw himself upon the grenade, shielding his companions from the blast that followed. Although seriously wounded, Pfc. Bellrichard struggled into an upright position in the foxhole and fired his rifle at the enemy until he succumbed to his wounds. His selfless heroism contributed greatly to the successful defense of the position, and he was directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient Leslie A. Bellrichard
Medal of Honor Recipient Leslie A. Bellrichard
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Oakland, Alameda County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 10, 1969
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: December 4, 1941, Janesville, Rock County, WI, United States
  • Died: May 20, 1967, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Oakhill Cemetery (MH) (311-15-7), Janesville, WI, United States

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