Sp4c Edward A. DeVore, Jr. Medal of Honor, Vietnam

 

Sp4c Edward A. DeVore, Jr. Medal of Honor, Vietnam
Sp4c Edward A. DeVore, Jr. Medal of Honor, Vietnam

BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D.  Edward A. DeVore, Jr. was born in Torrance, California on June 15, 1947.  He was 20 years old when he joined the army in Harbor City, California.  DeVore would not live to see his 21st birthday.  He gave his life for his country before he was old enough to buy a beer in many of its states.

After basic training and advanced infantry training Devore was assigned to Company B, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

On March 17, 1968 was serving as a Specialist Four in Company B, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. During a firefight on that day, near Saigon in the Republic of Vietnam, he single-handedly attacked an enemy position which had pinned down his squad, drawing fire to himself and allowing his comrades to retreat to safety.  His platoon, the company’s lead element, came under intense fire from automatic weapons, Claymore mines, rockets and grenades from well-concealed bunkers in a nipa palm swamp. One man was killed and three wounded 20 meters from the bunker complex. Sp4 DeVore raced through a hail of fire to provide a base of fire with his machinegun, enabling the point element to move the wounded back to friendly lines. After supporting artillery, gunships and air strikes had been employed on enemy positions, a squad was sent forward to retrieve their fallen comrades. Intense enemy weapons fire pinned down this element in the kill zone. With complete disregard for his safety, Sp4 DeVore assaulted the enemy positions. Hit in the shoulder and knocked down 35 meters short of his objectives, he ignored his pain and the warnings of his fellow soldiers, jumped to his feet and continued his assault. Although mortally wounded, he continued to place suppressive fire upon the entrenched insurgents. By drawing the enemy fire upon himself he enabled the trapped squad to rejoin the platoon in safety. DeVore was mortally wounded in the assault and died the next day. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

 

 

 

Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. DeVore, distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on the afternoon of 17 March 1968, while serving as a machine gunner with Company B, on a reconnaissance-in-force mission approximately 5 kilometers south of Saigon. Sp4c. DeVore’s platoon, the company’s lead element, abruptly came under intense fire from automatic weapons, Claymore mines, rockets and grenades from well-concealed bunkers in a nipa palm swamp. One man was killed and 3 wounded about 20 meters from the bunker complex. Sp4c. DeVore raced through a hail of fire to provide a base of fire with his machine gun, enabling the point element to move the wounded back to friendly lines. After supporting artillery, gunships and air strikes had been employed on the enemy positions, a squad was sent forward to retrieve their fallen comrades. Intense enemy frontal and enfilading automatic weapons fire pinned down this element in the kill zone. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Sp4c. DeVore assaulted the enemy positions. Hit in the shoulder and knocked down about 35 meters short of his objectives, Sp4c. DeVore, ignoring his pain and the warnings of his fellow soldiers, jumped to his feet and continued his assault under intense hostile fire. Although mortally wounded during this advance, he continued to place highly accurate suppressive fire upon the entrenched insurgents. By drawing the enemy fire upon himself, Sp4c. DeVore enabled the trapped squad to rejoin the platoon in safety. Sp4c. DeVore’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in close combat were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 39th Infantry, and the U.S. Army.

Sp4c Edward Allen DeVore, Jr. was aged 20 at his death  and is buried in Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  The next time you are having a beer, why not give a thought and a toast to Sp4 DeVore.   It is said a man hasn’t died as long as he is remembered.

The information in this article was sourced from a variety of sources both internal and external. Every effort was made to ensure that the information is current and correct. These articles are presented to honor the heroes they are written about.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.

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