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First Name: Lloyd

Last Name: Mousseau

Birthplace: Crow Wing, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Francis

Date of Birth: 29 January 1944

Date of Death: 02 May 1968

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served:
Lloyd Francis Mousseau

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Lloyd Francis "Frenchy" Mousseau
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Special Forces
Vietnam War

Lloyd Francis Mousseau was born on 29 January 1944 in Crow Wing, Crow Wing County, MN.

In May 1968, Staff Sergeant Lloyd Francis "Frenchy" Mousseau was serving as an Infantry Ops and Intel Specialist (Special Forces), with Detachment B-56 (Nha Trang), 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in Military Region 2, South Vietnam. He was on his third Vietnam tour, which began on 19 January 1968.

The Battle on 2 May 1968

On that day, SSG Mousseau was part of a twelve-man recon team that was covertly inserted by helicopter into Northern Cambodia about 60 miles NW of Saigon. The team's mission was to capture a North Vietnamese Army truck and return with the truck to Vietnam with a load of supplies, as physical proof to the world press that the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army were being supplied through Cambodia. The team was composed of three Americans, two South Vietnamese Army officers, and seven Civilian Irregular Defense Group ("CIDG") members. [They might have been Montagnards - mountain tribesmen from the surrounding regions of Vietnam or Cambodia, Nungs of Chinese extraction, Cambodians, Bru, or others.]

Sergeant First Class Leroy Norris Wright was the team leader, or One-Zero, and SSG Mousseau was the assistant team leader, or "One-One." Unfortunately, Wright's team landed in the midst of a large force of NVA regulars that deployed in great depth around their landing zone. They had flown over much of the enemy force on their way in, but the enemy did not fire a shot as the American helicopters passed overhead. At first all was quiet and it seemed that the enemy was unaware of the position of their landing. The team began moving toward its primary objective, but soon they were compromised! Two NVA soldiers discovered their point team. SSG Mousseau, assistant team leader, and one of the CIDG killed these men silently with their knives but one of the NVA got off a shot, alerting the other NVA in the vicinity.

SFC Wright requested permission for extraction (the standard procedure when a team is discovered by the enemy), but amazingly he was ordered to continue the mission by his superiors back in Vietnam. After some discussion on the radio with his commander, Wright agreed to continue the mission and once again moved towards his objective. Soon he encountered a patrol of about 12 NVA soldiers and in a brief, but noisy, fight his team wiped out the NVA patrol without any casualties to his team. Now his situation was critical and once again he called by radio for emergency extraction as he rushed the team to the planned pickup zone - a large crescent shaped clearing in the forest about one hundred meters long.

At the pickup zone Wright encountered disaster. The approaching extraction helicopters were shot up before they reached his position. The six helicopters had begun to receive heavy fire five miles from the pickup point, and one of the escorting helicopter gunships was shot down. One of the transport slicks was severely hit also, wounding two crewmen, one mortally. Only one lone slick made an approach to the pickup zone, and it was misdirected by its C&C aircraft to land in a pickup zone that was controlled by enemy troops. SFC Wright watched from about 100 meters away in horror as an NVA stepped into the landing zone and directed the helicopter with hand signals to a landing spot, and it's doom. Wright's only recourse was to open fire immediately on the NVA beside the helicopter. Fortunately the slick escaped this trap, but now the enemy knew exactly where Wright and his team were, and they attacked him in force. Soon hundreds of NVA troops surrounded Wright's position and they became locked in a fierce fire fight.

Wright moved about his beleaguered team, encouraging them and repositioning them to defend the extraction landing zone. While redeploying one group of his men, he was hit by enemy fire and lost the use of his legs. Then two enemy grenades fell between Wright and his teammates, endangering them all. Wright threw one grenade back at the enemy but only had time to roll his body onto the second grenade before it exploded lifting him into the air as if kicked by a giant foot. Wright survived this explosion and fought on for a time, firing his weapon until he was killed by a shot in his head. With Wright's death, assistant team leader SSG Mousseau took over command of the team and together with radio operator Brian O'Connor, they begin to call in fixed wing air strikes to stop the horde of enemy that was now moving to surround them.

Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez was assigned to support duties at the camp from which Wright's team had been launched. Over the radio he heard that the team was surrounded by hundreds of NVA, six team members were dead and the six survivors were all wounded. He heard the distress calls of the shot-up and crashing helicopters that had been on the failed first extraction attempt.

Benavidez was a close friend of Leroy Wright and felt that he owed his life to Wright from an earlier incident in which Wright took great personal risk to save him. It may have been thoughts of this that inspired Benavidez to rush to join the second rescue effort by the already battered helicopter flight from the 240th Assault Helicopter Company. Unfortunately, when Benavidez arrived at the scene his friend Leroy Wright had already been killed.

Although Mousseau was critically wounded by small arms fire early in the action, he continued to fight despite a massive head wound. His actions during critical moments in the battle were instrumental in the survival of the team. [You can read of Mousseau's heroic and skillful actions that day by reading any of the three published biographies of Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez, or the citation for Mousseau's Distinguished Service Cross.]

SSG Mousseau died beside MSgt. Roy Benavidez on the floor of a medevac helicopter just minutes from the hospital in Saigon. Benavidez recalled Mousseau's last minutes in his book "The Three Wars of Roy Benavidez":

"Minutes away from the doctors in Saigon, I felt his fingers dig into my palm, his arm twitching and jumping as if an electric current was pouring through his body into mine. I.....saw his eye widen, staring full into my face, and pain and fear radiating from him like a heat wave. He blinked once, the grip loosened, and his face softened as his eyelid drooped. It was like a brightly lit candle guttering and going out."

Benavidez ultimately received the Medal of Honor for his actions on that day. He never spoke of the incident without praising the valor of those who were there. He particularly praised Wright's valor and leadership of the team.

Staff Sergeant Lloyd Francis Mousseau was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the U.S. military's second highest award for valor, for his part in the 2 May 1968 action. He had previously been awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and other awards for valor in other combat actions.

Medals and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Combat Infantryman Badge
Silver Star Medal
Soldier's Medal
Bronze Star Medal with Combat Valor Device
Purple Heart (2 Awards)
Army Good Conduct Medal (2 Awards)
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Parachutist Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Lloyd Francis Mousseau (ASN: RA-19712162), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Staff Sergeant Mousseau distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 2 May 1968 as assistant team leader of a twelve-man Special Forces/Vietnamese reconnaissance patrol operating in enemy territory. The patrol was heavily attacked by enemy forces firing grenades, small arms and automatic weapons. Although Sergeant Mousseau was seriously wounded in the initial barrage, he ignored his injuries and braved the devastating fire time after time to deploy his men in a tight defensive perimeter. While fighting furiously to repel the determined attackers, a cartridge ruptured in his rifle, wounding him again and rendering the weapon inoperative. He quickly secured another rifle from a fallen comrade in time to engage and kill three enemy troops who had reached his defensive lines. The patrol leader was killed and Sergeant Mousseau immediately assumed command. Using a radio, he directed gunship strikes on the insurgents which forced them back. As an extraction helicopter attempted to land, it was hit by a renewed enemy fusillade and crashed. Sergeant Mousseau continued to direct close air support. Despite grenade wounds to his legs, he maneuvered under a curtain of fire to locate enemy positions and strong points. He then adjusted napalm and bombs to within thirty meters of his perimeter, forcing the enemy to withdraw. When a rescue helicopter arrived, he directed his men aboard before mounting the craft himself. As he entered the ship, he was killed by an enemy sniper. His fearless and selfless leadership in the heat of battle prevented his unit from being overrun. Staff Sergeant Mousseau's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


The name Richard J Mosley is located on Panel 14E Line 87 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.


On 8 April 1965, Lloyd and his wife, Marjorie, had a daughter, Kathy. Lloyd and Marjorie were having some problems at the time and didn't understand what it meant to stick it out and work on a marriage, so they divorced 6 months after Kathy was born. Kathy then lived with Lloyd's mother.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Lloyd Francis "Frenchy" Mousseau was killed in action on 2 May 1968. He is buried at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA.

Honoree ID: 3365   Created by: MHOH




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