b. 26/05/1945 San Joaquin, California. d. 13/10/2016 Stockton, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 24/07/1966 Vietnam.
He received this award from President Lyndon B. Johnson on May 14, 1968 for his actions on July 24, 1966 while serving as a sergeant with the 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th US Marines near the Demilitarized Zone in the Republic of Vietnam. He enlisted in the regular US Marine Corps on November 1, 1965 and was sent to the Republic of Vietnam the following year and saw combat action in several US military operations. In December 1967 he returned to the US and was honorably discharged four months later. In 1970 he reenlisted in the Marine Corps and served until his retirement in October 1988 at the rank of master sergeant. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal (with two bronze stars), and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He died at the age of 71
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of First Platoon, Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines during combat operations near the Demilitarized Zone, Republic of Vietnam. On July 24, 1966, while Company I was conducting an operation along the axis of a narrow jungle trail, the leading company elements suffered numerous casualties when they suddenly came under heavy fire from a well concealed and numerically superior enemy force. Hearing the engaged Marines' calls for more firepower, Sergeant (then Lance Corporal) Pittman quickly exchanged his rifle for a machine gun and several belts of ammunition, left the relative safety of his platoon, and unhesitatingly rushed forward to aid his comrades. Taken under intense enemy small-arms fire at point blank range during his advance, he returned the fire, silencing the enemy positions. As Sergeant Pittman continued to forge forward to aid members of the leading platoon, he again came under heavy fire from two automatic weapons which he promptly destroyed. Learning that there were additional wounded Marines fifty yards further along the trail, he braved a withering hail of enemy mortar and small-arms fire to continue onward. As he reached the position where the leading Marines had fallen, he was suddenly confronted with a bold frontal attack by 30 to 40 enemy. Totally disregarding his own safety, he calmly established a position in the middle of the trail and raked the advancing enemy with devastating machine-gun fire. His weapon rendered ineffective, he picked up a submachine gun and, together with a pistol seized from a fallen comrade, continued his lethal fire until the enemy force had withdrawn. Having exhausted his ammunition except for a grenade which he hurled at the enemy, he then rejoined his own platoon. Sergeant Pittman's daring initiative, bold fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty inflicted many enemy casualties, disrupted the enemy attack and saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades. His personal valor at grave risk to himself reflects the highest credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.[
BURIAL LOCATION: CHEROKEE MEMORIAL PARK, LODI, CALIFORNIA.
Garden of Freedom, Block 2761, Space 6
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