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Daniel Dean Bruce
Daniel D. Bruce, Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1950-05-18)May 18, 1950
Died March 1, 1969(1969-03-01) (aged 18)
Place of birth Michigan City, Indiana
Place of death Killed in action in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1968-1969
Rank Private First Class
Unit 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Daniel Dean Bruce (May 18, 1950 – March 1, 1969) was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam. In March 1969, he was on night watch when an enemy explosive charge was thrown at his position, he caught it, held it close to his body, and ran from his position, saving the lives of three fellow Marines.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Daniel Bruce was born on May 18, 1950 in Michigan City, Indiana, where he attended Garfield Grammar School, Barker Jr. High School, and Elston Sr. High School.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Chicago, Illinois on May 20, 1968 and was discharged to enlist in the regular Marine Corps on July 17, 1968.

Upon completion of recruit training with the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California in September 1968, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. He completed individual combat training with Company U, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment in November, and basic infantry training with Weapons Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment in December.

On January 1, 1969, Bruce was promoted to private first class, and later that month was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned duty as anti-tank assault man with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. While participating in combat at Fire Support Base Tomahawk, Quang Nam Province, on March 1, 1969, he was killed in action — for his gallantry on this occasion, which saved the lives of three fellow Marines, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was on night watch when an enemy explosive was thrown at his position. He caught the charge, held it to his body, and ran from his position — away from fellow Marines who would have been killed by the explosion. Seconds later, the charge exploded and the full force of the blast was absorbed by Bruce.[1]

Decorations[edit | edit source]

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars 
Bronze star
Medal of Honor Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal with bronze star Vietnam Campaign Medal

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

The President of the United States in the name of the The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Mortar Man with Headquarters and Service Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division, against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the morning of March 1, 1969, Private First Class Bruce was on watch in his night defensive position at Fire Support Base Tomahawk in Quang Nam Province when he heard movements ahead of him. An enemy explosive charge was thrown toward his position and he reacted instantly, catching the device and shouting to alert his companions. Realizing the danger to the adjacent position with its two occupants Private First Class Bruce Held the device to his body and attempted to carry it from the vicinity of the entrenched Marines. As he moved away, Private First Class Bruce's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty saved the lives of three of his fellow Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.[2]


The Wall[edit | edit source]

Daniel Dean Bruce has his name inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on panel 31W, line 099.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dekever, 2002.
  2. "PFC Daniel D. Bruce", Marines Awarded the Medal of Honor.
  3. Daniel Bruce, USMC, The Virtual Wall.
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

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