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First Name: Leslie

Last Name: Bellrichard

Birthplace: Janesville, WI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Oakland, CA
Middle Name: Allen

Date of Birth: 04 December 1941

Date of Death: 20 May 1967

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1966 - 1967
Leslie Allen Bellrichard

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Leslie Allen Bellrichard
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Leslie Allen Bellrichard was born on 4 December 1941 at Janesville, WI. He was a Private First Class in the U.S. Army and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor - the Medal of Honor - for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Bellrichard joined the Army from Oakland, CA, and on 20 May 1967 was serving as a Private First Class in Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. During a firefight on that day, in Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, he was preparing to throw a hand grenade when a nearby explosion caused him to drop the activated device. Bellrichard smothered the blast of the grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Acting as a fire team leader with Company C, during combat operations Pfc. Bellrichard was with 4 fellow soldiers in a foxhole on their unit's perimeter when the position came under a massive enemy attack. Following a 30-minute mortar barrage, the enemy launched a strong ground assault. Pfc. Bellrichard rose in face of a group of charging enemy soldiers and threw hand grenades into their midst, eliminating several of the foe and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Failing in their initial attack, the enemy repeated the mortar and rocket bombardment of the friendly perimeter, then once again charged against the defenders in a concerted effort to overrun the position. Pfc. Bellrichard resumed throwing hand grenades at the onrushing attackers. As he was about to hurl a grenade, a mortar round exploded just in front of his position, knocking him into the foxhole and causing him to lose his grip on the already armed grenade. Recovering instantly, Pfc. Bellrichard recognized the threat to the lives of his 4 comrades and threw himself upon the grenade, shielding his companions from the blast that followed. Although severely wounded, Pfc. Bellrichard struggled into an upright position in the foxhole and fired his rifle at the enemy until he succumbed to his wounds. His selfless heroism contributed greatly to the successful defense of the position, and he was directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Medals and Awards

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Bellrichard was awarded the Purple Heart.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

PFC Leslie Allen Bellrichard's name is inscribed on Panel 20E - Line 54.


In 2004 the City of Janesville renamed the Crosby-Willard Bridge over the Rock River the Bellrichard Bridge.

Death and Burial

PFC Leslie Allen Bellrichard was killed in action on 20 May 1967. He is buried in the Military Section of Oak Hill Cemetery in his birth city of Janesville, WI.

Honoree ID: 894   Created by: MHOH




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