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First Name: Brian

Last Name: Buker

Birthplace: Benton, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Bangor, ME
Middle Name: Leroy

Date of Birth: 03 November 1949

Date of Death: 05 April 1970

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1968 - 1970
Brian Leroy Buker

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Brian Leroy Buker
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Brian Leroy Buker (3 November 1949 - 5 April 1970) was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army and was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Buker was born on 3 November 1949, in Benton, MA, the youngest of four sons of Opal Buker Clark. He grew up in Benton and graduated from Lawrence High School in nearby Fairfield in 1967. His brothers, Victor, Gerald, and Alan, also served in the Vietnam War.

Buker joined the Army from Bangor, ME, and on 5 April 1970 was serving in Detachment B-55, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. On that day, he was acting as a platoon advisor for a Vietnamese mobile strike force company on a mission in Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam. When his platoon came under intense fire, he single-handedly destroyed one enemy bunker, was seriously wounded, and then destroyed another bunker despite these wounds. He was killed later in the battle as he reorganized his soldiers. For these actions, Buker was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. (He was one of three people from Maine to earn the medal in Vietnam, the others being Thomas J. McMahon and Donald Sidney Skidgel.)

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Buker, Detachment B-55, distinguished himself while serving as a platoon adviser of a Vietnamese mobile strike force company during an offensive mission. Sgt. Buker personally led the platoon, cleared a strategically located well-guarded pass, and established the first foothold at the top of what had been an impenetrable mountain fortress. When the platoon came under the intense fire from a determined enemy located in 2 heavily fortified bunkers, and realizing that withdrawal would result in heavy casualties, Sgt. Buker unhesitatingly, and with complete disregard for his personal safety, charged through the hail of enemy fire and destroyed the first bunker with hand grenades. While reorganizing his men for the attack on the second bunker, Sgt. Buker was seriously wounded. Despite his wounds and the deadly enemy fire, he crawled forward and destroyed the second bunker. Sgt. Buker refused medical attention and was reorganizing his men to continue the attack when he was mortally wounded. As a direct result of his heroic actions, many casualties were averted, and the assault of the enemy position was successful. Sgt. Buker's extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross

On 15 September 2010, Buker's family donated his Medal of Honor and other decorations to his alma mater, Lawrence High School in Fairfield, MA, for display.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Sergeant Brian Leroy Buker's name is inscribed on Panel 12W - Line 96.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Brian Leroy Buker was killed in action on 5 April 1970. He is buried at Brown Cemetery in his hometown of Benton, ME.

Honoree ID: 906   Created by: MHOH




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