Houston’s Clarence E. Sasser spent less than two months in Vienam, but he could have taken the easy way out altogether. Unlike other American men his age, he declined his student deferment. Sasser reported to Vietnam in late 1967 with the “Old Reliables” of the 9th Infantry Division, a complete division reactivated and designed for action in Vietnam. The combat medic on Jan. 10, 1968 in Dinh Tuong Province ceaselessly attended to his fellow soldiers as they were raked by horrific fire and he himself could not longer use his legs.
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Clarence E. Sasser
Citation: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to Specialist 5 Clarence E. Sasser United States Army for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Specialist 5 Clarence E. Sasser (then Private First Class) distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity on 10 January 1968 while assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date he was serving as a medical aidman with Company A, 3d Battalion, on a reconnaissance in force operation in Ding Tuong Province. His company was making an air assault when suddenly it was taken under heavy small arms, recoilless rifle, machine gun and rocket fire from well fortified enemy positions on three sides of the landing zone. During the first few minutes, over thirty casualties were sustained. Without hesitation, Specialist Sasser ran across an open rice paddy through a hail of fire to assist the wounded. After helping one man to safety, he was painfully wounded in the left shoulder by fragments of an exploding rocket. Refusing medical attention, he ran through a barrage of rocket and automatic weapons fire to aid casualties of the initial attack and, after giving them urgently needed treatment, continued to search for other wounded. Despite two additional wounds immobilizing his legs, he dragged himself through the mud toward another soldier one hundred meters away. Although in agonizing pain and faint from loss of blood, Specialist Sasser reached the man, treated him, and proceeded on to encourage another group of soldiers to crawl two hundred meters to relative safety. There he attended their wounds for five hours until they were evacuated. Specialist Sasser’s conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.