Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Robert Joseph Pruden

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company G, 75th Infantry,
    Americal Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 29, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Pruden, Company G, distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance team leader during an ambush mission. The six-man team was inserted by helicopter into enemy-controlled territory to establish an ambush position and to obtain information concerning enemy movements. As the team moved into the preplanned area, S/Sgt. Pruden deployed his men into two groups on the opposite sides of a well-used trail. As the groups were establishing their defensive positions, one member of the team was trapped in the open by the heavy fire from an enemy squad. Realizing that the ambush position had been compromised, S/Sgt. Pruden directed his team to open fire on the enemy force. Immediately, the team came under heavy fire from a second enemy element. SSgt. Pruden, with full knowledge of the extreme danger involved, left his concealed position and, firing as he ran, advanced toward the enemy to draw the hostile fire. He was seriously wounded twice but continued his attack until he fell for a third time, in front of the enemy positions. S/Sgt. Pruden's actions resulted in several enemy casualties and withdrawal of the remaining enemy force. Although grievously wounded, he directed his men into defensive positions and called for evacuation helicopters, which safely withdrew the members of the team. S/Sgt. Pruden's outstanding courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his men, and intrepidity in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert J. Pruden
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert J. Pruden
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 22, 1971
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: September 9, 1949, St.Paul, Ramsey County, MN, United States
  • Died: November 29, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Fort Snelling National Cemetery (MH) (M-5710), Minneapolis, MN, United States

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