National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation Statement on Passing of Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient Sp5c. Clarence Sasser

With deep sadness, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation (NMOHMF) offers the following statement on the passing of Specialist Fifth Class Clarence Sasser, who earned the Medal of Honor as a medic during the Vietnam War. When his company came under heavy fire, Sp5c. Sasser ran across an open rice paddy to help his injured comrades. Ignoring his own wounds and pulling himself through the mud using the rice stalks, he continued to treat the wounded until they were evacuated. With his passing there are only 61 living recipients.

“Through his extraordinary bravery, selflessness and heroism in Vietnam, Sp5c. Clarence Sasser left a legacy that will stand the test of time,” said Chris Cassidy, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation. “His remarkable story of rising from a segregated high school in rural Texas to earning our nation’s highest award for valor in combat is an inspiration to all Americans. As we join his friends and family in mourning, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation remains steadfast and committed to carrying on Sp5c. Sasser’s legacy and those his fellow of Medal of Honor recipients.”

His full Medal of Honor citation can be found here and reads as follows:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp5c. Sasser distinguished himself while assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion. He was serving as a medical aidman with Company A, 3d Battalion, on a reconnaissance-in-force operation. His company was making an air assault when suddenly it was taken under heavy small-arms, recoilless-rifle, machine-gun, and rocket fire from well-fortified enemy positions on three sides of the landing zone. During the first few minutes, over 30 casualties were sustained. Without hesitation, Sp5c. Sasser ran across an open rice paddy through a hail of fire to assist the wounded. After helping one man to safety, he was painfully wounded in the left shoulder by fragments of an exploding rocket. Refusing medical attention, he ran through a barrage of rocket and automatic-weapons fire to aid casualties of the initial attack and, after giving them urgently needed treatment, continued to search for other wounded. Despite two additional wounds immobilizing his legs, he dragged himself through the mud toward another soldier 100 meters away. Although in agonizing pain and faint from loss of blood, Sp5c. Sasser reached the man, treated him, and proceeded on to encourage another group of soldiers to crawl 200 meters to relative safety. There he attended their wounds for five hours until they were evacuated. Sp5c. Sasser’s extraordinary heroism is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

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