Medal of Honor

 

 

PITTS, RILEY L. *

 

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division

 

Place and date: Ap Dong, Republic of Vietnam, 31 October 1967

 

Entered service at: Wichita, Kansas

 

Born: 15 October 1937, Failis, Oklahoma

 

Citation:

 

Distinguishing himself by exceptional heroism while serving as company commander during an airmobile assault. Immediately after his company landed in the area, several Viet Cong opened fire with automatic weapons. Despite the enemy fire, Capt. Pitts forcefully led an assault which overran the enemy positions. Shortly thereafter, Capt. Pitts was ordered to move his unit to the north to reinforce another company heavily engaged against a strong enemy force. As Capt. Pitts' company moved forward to engage the enemy, intense fire was received from 3 directions, including fire from 4 enemy bunkers, 2 of which were within 15 meters of Capt. Pitts' position. The severity of the incoming fire prevented Capt. Pitts from maneuvering his company. His rifle fire proving ineffective against the enemy due to the dense jungle foliage, he picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and began pinpointing the targets. Seizing a Chinese Communist grenade which had been taken from a captured Viet Cong's web gear, Capt. Pitts lobbed the grenade at a bunker to his front, but it hit the dense jungle foliage and rebounded. Without hesitation, Capt. Pitts threw himself on top of the grenade which, fortunately, failed to explode. Capt. Pitts then directed the repositioning of the company to permit friendly artillery to be fired. Upon completion of the artillery fire mission, Capt. Pitts again led his men toward the enemy positions, personally killing at least 1 more Viet Cong. The jungle growth still prevented effective fire to be placed on the enemy bunkers. Capt. Pitts, displaying complete disregard for his life and personal safety, quickly moved to a position which permitted him to place effective fire on the enemy. He maintained a continuous fire, pinpointing the enemy's fortified positions, while at the same time directing and urging his men forward, until he was mortally wounded. Capt. Pitts' conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the Armed Forces of his country.

 

 


 


--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: PITTS

First name: RILEY LEROY

Home of Record (official): OKLAHOMA CITY

State (official): OK

Date of Birth: Friday, October 15, 1937

Sex: Male

Race: Negro

Marital Status: Married

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Army

Rank: CPT

Serial Number: O96787

Component: Regular

Pay grade: O3

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 1542

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Wednesday, December 28, 1966

Date of Casualty: Tuesday, October 31, 1967

Age at time of loss: 30

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Binh Duong

The Wall: Panel 28E - Row 105

 


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