Medal of Honor

 

 

GRANDSTAFF, BRUCE ALAN *

 

Rank and organization: Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry , 4th Infantry Division

 

Place and date: Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 May 1967

 

Entered service at: Spokane, Washington

 

Born: 2 June 1934, Spokane, Washington

 

Citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. P/Sgt. Grandstaff distinguished himself while leading the Weapons Platoon, Company B, on a reconnaissance mission near the Cambodian border. His platoon was advancing through intermittent enemy contact when it was struck by heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from 3 sides. As he established a defensive perimeter, P/Sgt. Grandstaff noted that several of his men had been struck down. He raced 30 meters through the intense fire to aid them but could only save 1. Denied freedom to maneuver his unit by the intensity of the enemy onslaught, he adjusted artillery to within 45 meters of his position. When helicopter gunships arrived, he crawled outside the defensive position to mark the location with smoke grenades. Realizing his first marker was probably ineffective, he crawled to another location and threw his last smoke grenade but the smoke did not penetrate the jungle foliage. Seriously wounded in the leg during this effort he returned to his radio and, refusing medical aid, adjusted the artillery even closer as the enemy advanced on his position. Recognizing the need for additional firepower, he again braved the enemy fusillade, crawled to the edge of his position and fired several magazines of tracer ammunition through the jungle canopy. He succeeded in designating the location to the gunships but this action again drew the enemy fire and he was wounded in the other leg. Now enduring intense pain and bleeding profusely, he crawled to within 10 meters of an enemy machine gun which had caused many casualties among his men. He destroyed the position with hand grenades but received additional wounds. Rallying his remaining men to withstand the enemy assaults, he realized his position was being overrun and asked for artillery directly on his location. He fought until mortally wounded by an enemy rocket. Although every man in the platoon was a casualty, survivors attest to the indomitable spirit and exceptional courage of this outstanding combat leader who inspired his men to fight courageously against overwhelming odds and cost the enemy heavy casualties. P/Sgt. Grandstaff's selfless gallantry, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

 


Thanks to Alan Kaul for the photo. "Bruce was my cousin . . . we were close and hardly a day goes by without me thinking about in him in some way . . . even though it's been 31 years".

 

The main library at Fort Lewis, Washington is named in honor of Bruce Grandstaff.

Thanks to: Daniel Luechtefeld <wolucky@yahoo.com>


--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: GRANDSTAFF

First name: BRUCE ALAN

Home of Record (official): SPOKANE

State (official): WA

Date of Birth: Saturday, June 2, 1934

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Married

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Army

Rank: PSGT

Serial Number: 56240242

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E7

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11C40

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Thursday, September 15, 1966

Date of Casualty: Thursday, May 18, 1967

Age at time of loss: 32

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Pleiku

The Wall: Panel 20E - Row 028


 

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