Medal of Honor
BELCHER, TED *
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division
Place and date: Plei Djerang, Republic of Vietnam, 19 November 1966
Entered service at: Huntington, West Virginia
Born: 21 July 1924, Accoville, West Virginia
Distinguishing himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life. Sgt. Belcher's unit was engaged in a search and destroy mission with Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry. The Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon and a special forces company of civilian irregular defense group personnel. As a squad leader of the 2d Platoon of Company C, Sgt. Belcher was leading his men when they encountered a bunker complex. The reconnaissance platoon, located a few hundred meters northwest of Company C, received a heavy volume of fire from well camouflaged snipers. As the 2d Platoon moved forward to assist the unit under attack. Sgt. Belcher and his squad advancing only a short distance through the dense jungle terrain met heavy and accurate automatic weapons and sniper fire. Sgt. Belcher and his squad were momentarily stopped by the deadly volume of enemy fire. He quickly gave the order to return fire and resume the advance toward the enemy. As he moved up with his men, a hand grenade landed in the midst of the sergeant's squad. Instantly realizing the immediate danger to his men, Sgt. Belcher, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, lunged forward, covering the grenade with his body. Absorbing the grenade blast at the cost of his life, he saved his comrades from becoming casualties. Sgt. Belcher's profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Thanks to SSG David Bata for the above photograph.
The following message was received on 11 March 1999 from Robert H. Wilson Jr. < firstname.lastname@example.org >
"I was there that day.
Perhaps the following will contribute something to Sgt. Becher's memory and commitment to duty. I penned this some time ago to help myself finally come to grip with the pain of that day.
Thanks, Its been a long time,
Years have passed, time stands still, the field watch needs rewound. Our war but rusting memories, our uniforms long since gone.
From those of us whom made it home, with more time on this earth, to absent comrades long since gone, whose time with death was then.
It's tattoo time, plus thirty years, but only yesterday, we fought beside our foxhole friends, eternal family.
--- General / Personal ---
Last name: BELCHER
First name: TED
Home of Record (official): LYNCO
State (official): WV
Date of Birth: Monday, July 21, 1924
Marital Status: Married
--- Military ---
Serial Number: 35657249
Pay grade: E5
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B40
--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Tuesday, October 4, 1966
Date of Casualty: Saturday, November 19, 1966
Age at time of loss: 42
Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died
Reason: Other explosive device (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Unknown/Not Reported
The Wall: Panel 12E - Row 086
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