Daniel Dean Bruce, Vietnam War CasualtyPorter County Data on Vietnam War Casualties . . . .

Daniel Dean Bruce
Private First Class, HSC, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
Date of Birth: May 18, 1950
Date of Death: March 1, 1969
Cause of Death: Killed in Action, explosive device
Hometown: Beverly Shores
Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Purple Heart


Daniel Dean Bruce (May 18, 1950 – March 1, 1969) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Congressional 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.

Daniel D. Bruce was born on May 18, 1950, in Michigan City, LaPorte County, Indiana, where he attended Garfield Grammar School, Barker Junior High School, and Elston Senior High School.

He enlisted in the United States 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. PFC Bruce 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 PFC Bruce.

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Congressional 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.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citation
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 1 March 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.
Source: Who's Who in Marine Corps History, Marine Corps History Division, Quantico, Virginia

Return to List of Porter County Vietnam War Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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