VIETNAM - CRUCE, LEONARD ERWIN

Cruce, Leonard Erwin

VIETNAM - CRUCE, LEONARD ERWIN
CRUCE, LEONARD ERWIN

Rank: Private First Class

Unit: A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11B – Infantryman

Awards: Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge

Unit awards: Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Enlisted by: Selected Service

Date of birth: 4-Dec-1947

Hometown: Hobbs, New Mexico

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 25-Jul-1967

Start of tour: 7-Jan-1968

Incident date: 6-Jun-1968

Date of casualty: 6-Jun-1968

Age at death: 20

Cause of death: Hostile, Died. Artillery/Mortar/Rocket. Artillery, rocket, or mortar.
Leonard Erwin Cruce died from wounds received while gunner on military vehicle on combat operation when vehicle was hit by hostile rocket.

Location of fatality: Binh Duong, South Vietnam

Place of interment: Prairie Haven Memorial Park, Hobbs, New Mexico, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 60W 027 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE
POSTHUMOUS

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS LEONARD ERWIN CRUCE
6 JUNE 1967
A TROOP, 1st SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Private First Class Grace distinguished himself by heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force on 6 June 1968 while serving as an armored cavalry assault vehicle driver assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Troop A was conducting a mounted reconnaissance-in-force operation through an area of dense rubber trees when the unit was suddenly engaged by an unknown-sized enemy force. It received a lethal hail of enemy small arms, automatic weapons, and antitank rocket fire as it formed into an assault line. Private Cruce, remaining calm and in complete control of his vehicle, maneuvered it to lead the counterassault. Constantly exposing himself to the deadly fire from the enemy positions, Private Cruce used one hand to drive his vehicle while directing a fierce volume of fire on the enemy from his M16 rifle with the other. As the troop assaulted the enemy entrenchments, the volume of hostile fire increased still further, but Private Cruce steadfastly remained exposed to the hail of bullets, faultlessly maneuvering his armored cavalry assault vehicle forward and bringing accurate fire to bear on the enemy positions. As the troop closed with the hostile force, Private Cruce’s vehicle was struck by an enemy antitank rocket, mortally wounding him. Private First Class Grace’s brave and heroic actions, utter disregard for his own safety under fire and unwavering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 1422 (9 October 1968)

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