Charles B. Morris, U.S. Army
and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sgt.), U.S.
Army, Company A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry,
173d Airborne Brigade (Separate).
and date: Republic of Vietnam, 29 June 1966.
service at: Roanoke, Va.
29 December 1931, Carroll County, Va. C.O. No.: 51,
14 December 1967.
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk
of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Seeing
indications of the enemy's presence in the area, S/Sgt.
Morris deployed his squad and continued forward alone
to make a reconnaissance. He unknowingly crawled within
20 meters of an enemy machinegun, whereupon the gunner
fired, wounding him in the chest. S/Sgt. Morris instantly
returned the fire and killed the gunner. Continuing
to crawl within a few feet of the gun, he hurled a
grenade and killed the remainder of the enemy crew.
Although in pain and bleeding profusely, S/Sgt. Morris
continued his reconnaissance. Returning to the platoon
area, he reported the results of his reconnaissance
to the platoon leader. As he spoke, the platoon came
under heavy fire. Refusing medical attention for himself,
he deployed his men in better firing positions confronting
the entrenched enemy to his front. Then for 8 hours
the platoon engaged the numerically superior enemy
force. Withdrawal was impossible without abandoning
many wounded and dead. Finding the platoon medic dead,
S/Sgt. Morris administered first aid to himself and
was returning to treat the wounded members of his
squad with the medic's first aid kit when he was again
wounded. Knocked down and stunned, he regained consciousness
and continued to treat the wounded, reposition his
men, and inspire and encourage their efforts. Wounded
again when an enemy grenade shattered his left hand,
nonetheless he personally took up the fight and armed
and threw several grenades which killed a number of
enemy soldiers. Seeing that an enemy machinegun had
maneuvered behind his platoon and was delivering the
fire upon his men, S/Sgt. Morris and another man crawled
toward the gun to knock it out. His comrade was killed
and S/Sgt. Morris sustained another wound, but, firing
his rifle with 1 hand, he silenced the enemy machinegun.
Returning to the platoon, he courageously exposed
himself to the devastating enemy fire to drag the
wounded to a protected area, and with utter disregard
for his personal safety and the pain he suffered,
he continued to lead and direct the efforts of his
men until relief arrived. Upon termination of the
battle, important documents were found among the enemy
dead revealing a planned ambush of a Republic of Vietnam
battalion. Use of this information prevented the ambush
and saved many lives. S/Sgt. Morris' gallantry was
instrumental in the successful defeat of the enemy,
saved many lives, and was in the highest traditions
of the U.S. Army.
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