Medal of Honor

 

 

BRYANT, WILLIAM MAUD *

 

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S.Army, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces

 

Place: Long Khanh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 March 1969

 

Entered Service at: Detroit, Michigan

 

Born: 16 February 1933, Cochran, Georgia

 

Citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Bryant, assigned to Company A, distinguished himself while serving as commanding officer of Civilian Irregular Defense Group Company 321, 2d Battalion, 3d Mobile Strike Force Command, during combat operations. The battalion came under heavy fire and became surrounded by the elements of 3 enemy regiments. Sfc. Bryant displayed extraordinary heroism throughout the succeeding 34 hours of incessant attack as he moved throughout the company position heedless of the intense hostile fire while establishing and improving the defensive perimeter, directing fire during critical phases of the battle, distributing ammunition, assisting the wounded and providing the leadership and inspirational example of courage to his men. When a helicopter drop of ammunition was made to resupply the beleaguered force, Sfc. Bryant with complete disregard for his safety ran through the heavy enemy fire to retrieve the scattered ammunition boxes and distributed needed ammunition to his men. During a lull in the intense fighting, Sfc. Bryant led a patrol outside the perimeter to obtain information of the enemy. The patrol came under intense automatic weapons fire and was pinned down. Sfc. Bryant singlehandedly repulsed 1 enemy attack on his small force and by his heroic action inspired his men to fight off other assaults. Seeing a wounded enemy soldier some distance from the patrol location, Sfc. Bryant crawled forward alone under heavy fire to retrieve the soldier for intelligence purposes. Finding that the enemy soldier had expired. Sfc. Bryant crawled back to his patrol and led his men back to the company position where he again took command of the defense. As the siege continued, Sfc. Bryant organized and led a patrol in a daring attempt too break through the enemy encirclement. The patrol had advanced some 200 meters by heavy fighting when it was pinned down by the intense automatic weapons fire from heavily fortified bunkers and Sfc. Bryant was severely wounded. Despite his wounds he rallied his men, called for helicopter gunship support, and directed heavy suppressive fire upon the enemy Positions. Following the last gunship attack, Sfc. Bryant fearlessly charged an enemy automatic weapons position, he overran it, and singlehandedly destroyed its 3 defenders. Inspired by his heroic example, his men renewed their attack on the entrenched enemy. While regrouping his small force for the final assault against the enemy, Sfc. Bryant fell mortally wounded by an enemy rocket. Sfc. Bryant's selfless concern for his comrades, at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.


The photo of William M. Bryant was provided by his son, Kelvin S. Bryant. <plb@sprintmail.com > He states " Unfortunately, I was only 4 when he was killed in Vietnam, so I remember very little about him".


--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: BRYANT

First name: WILLIAM MAUD

Home of Record (official): DETROIT

State (official): MI

Date of Birth: Thursday, February 16, 1933

Sex: Male

Race: Negro

Marital Status: Married

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Army

Rank: SFC

Serial Number: 16432083

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E7

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11F4S

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Monday, September 23, 1968

Date of Casualty: Monday, March 24, 1969

Age at time of loss: 36

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Tay Ninh

The Wall: Panel 28W - Row 024


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