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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Morris

Birthplace: Carroll County, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Roanoke, VA
Middle Name: Bedford

Date of Birth: 29 December 1931

Date of Death: 22 August 1996

Rank: Sergeant Major

Years Served: 1953 - 1981
Charles Bedford Morris

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Charles Bedford Morris
Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Sergeant Major Charles Bedford Morris (29 December 1931 - 22 August 1996) was a U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Charles Bedford Morris was born on 29 December 1931 in Carroll County, VA. He joined the Army from Roanoke, VA, and served during the Korean War before serving in Vietnam. On 29 June 1966, Morgan was a Sergeant in Company A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate). During a firefight that day in the Republic of Vietnam, Morris continued to lead his squad, fight the enemy, and help the wounded despite being wounded four separate times. For his actions during the battle he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and, on 14 December 1967, awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sgt.), U.S. Army, Company A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate).

Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 29 June 1966.

Entered service at: Roanoke, VA. Born: 29 December 1931, Carroll County, VA.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Seeing indications of the enemy's presence in the area, S/Sgt. Morris deployed his squad and continued forward alone to make a reconnaissance. He unknowingly crawled within 20 meters of an enemy machinegun, whereupon the gunner fired, wounding him in the chest. S/Sgt. Morris instantly returned the fire and killed the gunner. Continuing to crawl within a few feet of the gun, he hurled a grenade and killed the remainder of the enemy crew. Although in pain and bleeding profusely, S/Sgt. Morris continued his reconnaissance. Returning to the platoon area, he reported the results of his reconnaissance to the platoon leader. As he spoke, the platoon came under heavy fire. Refusing medical attention for himself, he deployed his men in better firing positions confronting the entrenched enemy to his front. Then for 8 hours the platoon engaged the numerically superior enemy force. Withdrawal was impossible without abandoning many wounded and dead. Finding the platoon medic dead, S/Sgt. Morris administered first aid to himself and was returning to treat the wounded members of his squad with the medic's first aid kit when he was again wounded. Knocked down and stunned, he regained consciousness and continued to treat the wounded, reposition his men, and inspire and encourage their efforts. Wounded again when an enemy grenade shattered his left hand, nonetheless he personally took up the fight and armed and threw several grenades which killed a number of enemy soldiers. Seeing that an enemy machinegun had maneuvered behind his platoon and was delivering the fire upon his men, S/Sgt. Morris and another man crawled toward the gun to knock it out. His comrade was killed and S/Sgt. Morris sustained another wound, but, firing his rifle with 1 hand, he silenced the enemy machinegun. Returning to the platoon, he courageously exposed himself to the devastating enemy fire to drag the wounded to a protected area, and with utter disregard for his personal safety and the pain he suffered, he continued to lead and direct the efforts of his men until relief arrived. Upon termination of the battle, important documents were found among the enemy dead revealing a planned ambush of a Republic of Vietnam battalion. Use of this information prevented the ambush and saved many lives. S/Sgt. Morris' gallantry was instrumental in the successful defeat of the enemy, saved many lives, and was in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

Morris reached the highest enlisted rank, Sergeant Major, before retiring from the Army.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Major Charles Bedford Morris died on 22 August 1996 at age 64. He is buried at Morris Cemetery in Fancy Gap, VA.

Honoree ID: 1036   Created by: MHOH




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