Daniel D. Bruce

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Daniel Dean Bruce
Bruce DD.jpg
Daniel D. Bruce, Medal of Honor recipient
Born(1950-05-18)May 18, 1950
Michigan City, Indiana
DiedMarch 1, 1969(1969-03-01) (aged 18)
Firebase Tomahawk, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1968-1969
RankPrivate First Class
UnitHeadquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
Battles/warsVietnam War 
AwardsMedal of Honor
Purple Heart

Daniel Dean Bruce (May 18, 1950 – March 1, 1969) was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam.

Bruce joined the Marines in 1968, and was deployed to Vietnam in January 1969. Two months later, on March 1, 1969, Bruce was on night watch at Firebase Tomahawk in Quang Ngai Province when an enemy explosive charge was thrown at his position. The private first class caught it, held it close to his body, and ran from his position, where the grenade exploded and killed Bruce. This action saved the lives of three other Marines.


Daniel Bruce was born on May 18, 1950 in Michigan City, Indiana, where he attended Garfield Grammar School, Barker Jr. High School, and Elston Sr. High School.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Chicago, Illinois on May 20, 1968 and was discharged to enlist in the regular Marine Corps on July 17, 1968.

Upon completion of recruit training with the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California in September 1968, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. He completed individual combat training with Company U, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment in November, and basic infantry training with Weapons Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment in December.

On January 1, 1969, Bruce was promoted to private first class, and later that month was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned duty as anti-tank assault man with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division.

While participating in combat at Firebase Tomahawk, Quang Nam Province, on March 1, 1969, he was killed in action — for his gallantry on this occasion, which saved the lives of three fellow Marines, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was on night watch when an enemy explosive was thrown at his position. He caught the charge, held it to his body, and ran from his position — away from fellow Marines who would have been killed by the explosion. Seconds later, the charge exploded and the full force of the blast was absorbed by Bruce, killing him instantly.[1][2]


A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars 
Bronze star
Medal of Honor Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal with bronze star Vietnam Campaign Medal
Monument to Daniel D. Bruce in his hometown of Michigan City, Indiana

The Wall[edit]

Daniel Dean Bruce has his name inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on panel 31W, line 099.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dekever, 2002.
  2. ^ Smith, Charles (1988). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: High Mobility and Standdown 1969. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. p. 360. ISBN 978-1494287627.
  3. ^ Daniel Bruce, USMC, The Virtual Wall.