The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Bruce W. Carter
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Bruce Carter



Private First Class Bruce W. Carter
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Grenadier with Company H, Second Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy  in the Republic of Vietnam. On
7 August 1969, Private First Class Carter's unit was maneuvering against the enemy during Operation Idaho Canyon and came under a heavy volume of fire from a numerically superior hostile force. The lead element soon became separated from the main body of the squad by a brush fire. Private First Class Carter and his fellow Marines were pinned down by vicious crossfire when, with complete disregard for his own safety, he stood in full view of the North Vietnamese Army soldiers to deliver a devastating volume of fire at their positions. The accuracy and aggressiveness of his attack caused several enemy causalities and forced  the remainder of the soldiers to retreat from the immediate area. Shouting directions to the Marines around him, Private First Class Carter then commenced leading them from the path of the rapidly approaching brush fire when he observed a hostile grenade land between him and his companions. Fully aware of the probable consequences of his action, but determined to protect the men following him, he unhesitatingly threw himself over the grenade, absorbing the full effects of its detonation with his own body. Private First Class Carter's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Richard M. Nixon
President of the United States

Bruce Wayne Carter, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in August 1969, was born 7 May 1950, in Schenectady, New York. He received his early schooling at Queens Elementary School in Pasadena, Texas. From September 1959 until January 1960, he attended Gretna Park Elementary School in Gretna, Louisiana, and graduated from Mimosa Park Elementary School, Mimosa Park, Louisiana, in May 1962.

Private Carter’s education continued in Hialea, Florida, where he attended Filer Junior High and Hialea Junior High. He then attended Miami Springs Junior and High Schools (Fla.), prior to entering West Jefferson High School in Wego, Louisiana.

He left West Jefferson in June 1968 to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps at Jacksonville, Florida, on 12 August 1968. Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, he completed recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion in October 1968, and individual combat training with the 1st Infantry Training Battalion at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the following December. Promoted to private first class, 1 January 1969, he attended the Vietnamese Language Course at Monterey, California, until March.

Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in April 1969, he served as a radio operator/radio man with Company H, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division. On 7 August 1969, while participating in combat north of Vandegrift Combat Base, Quang Tri Province, he was killed in action.

His medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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