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First Name: Larry

Last Name: Pierce

Birthplace: Wewoka, OK, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Fresno, CA
Middle Name: Stanley

Date of Birth: 06 July 1941

Date of Death: 20 September 1965

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1961 - 1965
Larry Stanley Pierce

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Larry Stanley Pierce
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Staff Sergeant Larry Stanley Pierce (6 July 1941 - 20 September 1965) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Larry Stanley Pierce was born on 6 July 1941 in Wewoka, OK. Pierce's family moved to California when he was young and he was raised there in the city of Taft. He and his wife Verlin had three children: a daughter, Teresa, and two sons, Kelly and Greggory.

Pierce joined the Army from Fresno, CA. On 20 September 1965, he was serving as a Sergeant in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. On that day, near Ben Cat in the central highlands of South Vietnam, Pierce covered the blast of an anti-personnel mine with his body, sacrificing his life to protect his fellow soldiers. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to staff sergeant.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Pierce was serving as squad leader in a reconnaissance platoon when his patrol was ambushed by hostile forces. Through his inspiring leadership and personal courage, the squad succeeded in eliminating an enemy machinegun and routing the opposing force. While pursuing the fleeing enemy, the squad came upon a dirt road and, as the main body of his men entered the road, Sgt. Pierce discovered an antipersonnel mine emplaced in the road bed. Realizing that the mine could destroy the majority of his squad, Sgt. Pierce saved the lives of his men at the sacrifice of his life by throwing himself directly onto the mine as it exploded. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, he averted loss of life and injury to the members of his squad. Sgt. Pierce's extraordinary heroism, at the cost of his life, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Pierce's Medal of Honor was formally presented to his family on 24 February 1966, by President Lyndon B. Johnson during a ceremony at the White House.

Awards and Medals

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Larry Stanley Pierce's name is inscribed on Panel 02E - Line 91.


On 6 February 2008, the post office in Taft was renamed the "Larry S. Pierce Post Office" in his honor.

A portion of California State Route 46 that runs through Wasco was designated the "Staff Sgt. Larry S. Pierce Memorial Highway" in 2009.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Larry Stanley Pierce was killed in action on 20 September 1965. He is buried at Wasco Memorial Park in Wasco, CA, where his wife and children were living at the time of his death.

Honoree ID: 1054   Created by: MHOH




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