Richard A. Anderson

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Richard Allen Anderson
Richard Allen Anderson.jpg
Richard A. Anderson,
Medal of Honor recipient
Born(1948-04-16)16 April 1948
Washington, D.C.
Died24 August 1969(1969-08-24) (aged 21)
Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service1968–1969
RankLance Corporal Lance Corporal
Unit3rd Reconnaissance Battalion,
3rd Marine Division
Battles/warsVietnam War 
AwardsMedal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Combat Action Ribbon

Lance Corporal Richard Allen Anderson (16 April 1948 – 24 August 1969) was a United States Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty on 24 August 1969 during the Vietnam War.


Anderson was born on 16 April 1948, in Washington, D.C. At an early age, he moved with his parents to Houston, Texas. He graduated from M.B. Smiley High School there in May 1966, then attended San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas, for a year and a half.

Anderson enlisted in the Marine Corps in Houston on 8 April 1968. Upon completion of recruit training with the 2d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, he received individual combat training with the 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, and returned to San Diego to attend Sea School. He was promoted to Private First Class (PFC) effective 1 July 1968.

PFC Anderson completed his training in October 1968, and was ordered to the Far East, where he joined Sub Unit #1, Provisional Service Battalion, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade.

In November 1968, he was reassigned duty with the 3rd Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam, and served initially as a rifleman with Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. In January 1969, he assumed duty as scout and, later, Assistant Fire Team Leader with Company E, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He was promoted to Lance Corporal effective 1 June 1969.

On 24 August 1969, while participating in combat approximately 12 miles northwest of Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province, he was mortally wounded.[1]

Military awards[edit]

Anderson's military decorations and awards include:

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal w/ four ​316" bronze stars Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/ 1960- device

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

3rd Reconnaissance Medal of Honor Monument Ocala, Florida Memorial Park

The President of the United States in the name of United States Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Assistant Fire Team Leader with Company E, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. While conducting a patrol during the early morning hours of 24 August 1969, Lance Corporal Anderson's reconnaissance team came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons and machine gun fire from a numerically superior and well-concealed enemy force. Although painfully wounded in both legs and knocked to the ground during the initial moments of the fierce fire fight, Lance Corporal Anderson assumed a prone position and continued to deliver intense suppressive fire in an attempt to repulse the attackers. Moments later he was wounded a second time by an enemy soldier who had approached to within eight feet of the team's position. Undaunted, he continued to pour a relentless stream of fire at the assaulting unit, even while a companion was treating his legs wounds. Observing an enemy hand grenade land between himself and the other Marine, Lance Corporal Anderson immediately rolled over and covered the lethal weapon with his body, absorbing the full effects of the detonation. By his indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Anderson was instrumental in saving several Marines from serious injury or possible death. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the Department of the Navy. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.[2]

/S/ Richard M. Nixon

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ Smith, Charles (1988). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: High Mobility and Standdown 1969. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. p. 358. ISBN 978-1494287627.
  2. ^ "LCPL Richard A. Anderson", Marines Awarded the Medal of Honor.

External links[edit]

  • "Lance Corporal Richard Allen Anderson, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 7 October 2007. Original URL for WW at, retrieved 30 March 2006