Clarence Sasser

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Clarence Eugene Sasser
Clarence E. Sasser   Cmoh army.jpg
Clarence E. Sasser
Born (1947-09-12) September 12, 1947 (age 66)
Chenango, Texas
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1967–1968
Rank Specialist Five
Unit 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards

Medal of Honor ribbon.svgMedal of Honor
Purple Heart BAR.svgPurple Heart
CombatMed2ndAwdBadge.jpg

Combat Medical Badge

Clarence Eugene Sasser (born September 12, 1947) is a former United States Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Biography[edit]

Born in Chenango, Texas, Sasser was a combat medic in the United States Army during the Vietnam war. He received the medal from President Richard Nixon in 1969 for his actions on January 10, 1968, in Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam. A member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, he was a private first class attached to the 3rd Battalion's Company A when he earned the medal and eventually was promoted to specialist five.

Clarence Sasser, a gray-haired black man standing at a microphone, wearing a medal on a blue ribbon around his neck.
Sasser in 2010

Drafted into the Army after giving up his college deferment at the University of Houston,[1] Sasser's Vietnam tour lasted just 51 days. When his military commitment was finished, he enrolled at Texas A&M University as a chemistry student. He then worked at an oil refinery for more than five years before being employed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.[2][3]

A statue depicting Sasser in Vietnam was created in 2010 and will be placed in front of the Brazoria County Courthouse.[4]

Medal of Honor[edit]

Sasser's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Framed sketch of African-American man with medal of honor
Clarence Sasser sketch in the Texas State Capitol in Austin

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp5c. Sasser distinguished himself while assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion. He was serving as a medical aidman with Company A, 3d Battalion, on a reconnaissance in force operation. His company was making an air assault when suddenly it was taken under heavy small arms, recoilless rifle, machinegun and rocket fire from well fortified enemy positions on 3 sides of the landing zone. During the first few minutes, over 30 casualties were sustained. Without hesitation, Sp5c. Sasser ran across an open rice paddy through a hail of fire to assist the wounded. After helping 1 man to safety, was painfully wounded in the left shoulder by fragments of an exploding mortar. 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 2 additional wounds immobilizing his legs, he dragged himself through the mud toward another soldier 100 meters away. Although in agonizing pain and faint from loss of blood, Sp5c. Sasser reached the man, treated him, and proceeded on to encourage another group of soldiers to crawl 200 meters to relative safety. There he attended their wounds for 5 hours until they were evacuated. Sp5c. Sasser's extraordinary heroism is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oral History Interview with SP5 Clarence E. Sasser". Army Medical Department Regiment. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  2. ^ "SPECIALIST 5th CLASS CLARENCE EUGENE SASSER". Rootsweb. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  3. ^ Smith, Larry Earl. Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words. W. W. Norton & Company. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  4. ^ Zavalla, Judy (November 17, 2010). "Medal of Honor Recipient". Alvin Sun-Advertiser (Alvin, Texas). Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Clarence Sasser, Medal of Honor recipient". Vietnam War (M-Z). United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 

External links[edit]