Welcome to Their Finest Hour
NOTICE TO READERS – NEW BLOG LOCATION!!! Their Finest Hour has relocated to its own domain effective March 17, 2014! This page will no longer feature new posts. Just click this banner to be redirected to the new site. All content will remain here at the original location, but also has been migrated to the new site. To all my readers, thank you for all of your support and we'll see you over at the new site!
Thursday, March 01, 2012
TFH 3/1: PFC Daniel D. Bruce, USMC
Daniel Dean Bruce was born on May 18, 1950 in Michigan City, Indiana. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on May 20, 1968 and transitioned to the active duty Marines in July that year.
He began a combat tour in Vietnam on January 24, 1969 with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment - part of the storied 1st Marine Division. Just five weeks later while in his nighttime defensive position, he sacrificed his own life to save those of his fellow Marines in a single, selfless act of incredible courage. His heroism was obviously worthy of our Nation's highest honor.
*BRUCE, DANIEL D.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Fire Support Base Tomahawk, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 March 1969. Entered service at: Chicago, 111. Born: 18 May 1950, Michigan City, Ind. 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 3d Battalion, against the enemy. Early in the morning Pfc. Bruce was on watch in his night defensive position at fire support base tomahawk 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 2 occupants, Pfc. Bruce held the device to his body and attempted to carry it from the vicinity of the entrenched marines. As he moved away, the charge detonated and he absorbed the full force of the explosion. Pfc. Bruce's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty saved the lives of 3 of his fellow marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Many such selfless warriors who have smothered explosions have been so honored and I am honored to have retold their stories in this space. I find Daniel Bruce's story to be particularly awe inspiring since he first caught the explosive device and ran with it to clear the area.
He rests today in his hometown's Greenwood Cemetery. A monument to his heroism was also erected in Michigan City's Harbor Park. His name appears on Panel 31W, Line 99 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in our Nation's capital.