VIETNAM - RUSSELL, FRED CALVIN

Russell, Fred Calvin

VIETNAM - RUSSELL, FRED CALVIN
RUSSELL, FRED CALVIN

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Unit: Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 13B – Cannon Crewmember

Awards: Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, United Nations Service Medal for Korea

Unit awards: Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Enlisted by: Regular

Date of birth: 16-Oct-2022

Hometown: Maryville, Tennessee

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 16-Dec-1942

Start of tour: Unknown

Incident date: 22-Jan-1967

Date of casualty: 10-Feb-1967

Age at death: 44

Cause of death: Hostile, died of wounds. Explosive Device. Other explosive device.
Fred Calvin Russell died in Brooke General hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Texas as the result of burns received in Vietnam on 22 Jan 1967 when the armored personnel carrier in which he was passenger hit a hostile mine while on combat operation.

Location of fatality: South Vietnam

Place of interment: Grandview Cemetery, Maryville, Tennessee, USA

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

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 15E 015 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE
POSTHUMOUS

SERGEANT FIRST CLASS FRED CALVIN RUSSELL
22 JANUARY 1967
HOWITZER BATTERY, 1st SQUADRON

11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Sergeant First Class Russell distinguished himself by heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force on 22 January 1967 while serving with the 1st Howitzer Section, Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Sergeant Russell was commander of an armored vehicle engaged in a night road march to a tactical firing position when it ran over and detonated a large nonmetallic mine buried in the roadbed. The crew compartment of the vehicle was immediately engulfed in flames and there was great danger of the basic load of howitzer ammunition exploding. The concussion from the blast threw the remainder of the crew from the top of the vehicle where they had been riding. Unknown to Sergeant Russell, the driver was also catapulted from his position in the vehicle. The vehicle continued under its own power for approximately fifty meters before it crashed into a farm implement and stopped. With complete disregard for his own safety, and with the flames already searing his clothes, Sergeant Russell attempted to reach down into the vehicle commander’s hatch and get the fire extinguisher. He was driven back by the flames and had to abandon the attempt to extinguish the fire. With almost all of his clothes enveloped in flame, and in great pain, he raised himself out of the hatch and moved across the top of the vehicle to assist the driver in escaping. Not finding the driver, he dropped off the vehicle and began to summon help but collapsed a few meters away from the vehicle. Although burned over forty percent of his body and in great physical pain, he refused medical aid and insisted that his crew be treated first. Sergeant First Class Russell’s heroism, devotion to duty and sincere concern for the safety of his men are 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. 815 (17 May 1967)

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