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First Name: Ruppert

Last Name: Sargent

Birthplace: Hampton, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Richmond, VA
Middle Name: Leon

Date of Birth: 06 January 1938

Date of Death: 15 March 1967

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 1966 - 1967
Ruppert Leon Sargent

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Ruppert Leon Sargent
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

First Lieutenant Ruppert Leon Sargent (6 January 1938 - 15 March 1967) was a U.S. Army officer who was posthumously awarded America's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Ruppert Leon Sargent was born on 6 January 1938 in Hampton, VA. He joined the Army from Richmond, VA. On 15 March 1967, Sargent was serving as a First Lieutenant in Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On that day in Hau Nghia Province in the Republic of Vietnam, Sargent threw himself on two enemy hand grenades, sacrificing himself to save the lives of two men nearby. For his self-sacrifice to save others, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful. He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant. 1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group. 1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades. 1st Lt. Sargent's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Ruppert Leon Sargent's name is inscribed on Panel 16E - Line 86.

Death and Burial

First Lieutenant Ruppert Leon Sargent was killed in action on 15 March 1967. He is buried at Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, VA.

Honoree ID: 1075   Created by: MHOH




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