Medal of Honor
SIMS, CLIFFORD CHESTER*
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Hue, Republic of Vietnam, 21 February 1968.
Entered service at: Jacksonville, Fla.
Born: 18 June 1942, Port St. Joe, Fla.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Sims distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company D. Company D was assaulting a heavily fortified enemy position concealed within a dense wooded area when it encountered strong enemy defensive fire. Once within the woodline, S/Sgt. Sims led his squad in a furious attack against an enemy force which had pinned down the 1st Platoon and threatened to overrun it. His skillful leadership provided the platoon with freedom of movement and enabled it to regain the initiative. S/Sgt. Sims was then ordered to move his squad to a position where he could provide covering fire for the company command group and to link up with the 3d Platoon, which was under heavy enemy pressure. After moving no more than 30 meters S/Sgt. Sims noticed that a brick structure in which ammunition was stocked was on fire. Realizing the danger, S/Sgt. Sims took immediate action to move his squad from this position. Though in the process of leaving the area 2 members of his squad were injured by the subsequent explosion of the ammunition, S/Sgt. Sims' prompt actions undoubtedly prevented more serious casualties from occurring. While continuing through the dense woods amidst heavy enemy fire, S/Sgt. Sims and his squad were approaching a bunker when they heard the unmistakable noise of a concealed booby trap being triggered immediately to their front. S/Sgt. Sims warned his comrades of the danger and unhesitatingly hurled himself upon the device as it exploded, taking the full impact of the blast. In so protecting his fellow soldiers, he willingly sacrificed his life. S/Sgt. Sims' extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
The following message was received on 12 July 2001
I AM THE 37 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER OF CLIFFORD SIMS. WHILE BROWSING THE NET I CAME UPON YOUR SITE AND WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR MISSION TO HONOR HEROES OF THESE UNITED STATES. IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, THERE HAVE BEEN CEREMONIES IN PORT ST. JOE AND JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA HONORING THE MEDAL RECIPIENTS FROM THAT STATE. IT HAS TRULY BEEN A RE-AWAKENING OF MY SPIRIT. BEING ONLY 3 YEARS OLD WHEN HE PASSED, HIS MEMORY WAS JUST THAT...A MEMORY. NOW, HOWEVER, I AM ABLE TO CAPTURE THE TRUE MEANING OF HIS DILIGENCE TO SERVICE THE COUNTRY, HIS FELLOW SOLDIERS AND HIS GOD. I AM GRATEFUL THAT HIS MEMORY LIVES ON AND I AM EVEN MORE GRATEFUL THAT HE IS A PART OF OUR AMERICAN HISTORY. GOD BLESS HIS LIFE AND THE LIVES OF SOLDIERS EVERYWHERE!
The following message was received on 10 July 2001
The Gulf County Board of County Commissioners is requesting from The Honorable Jeb Bush, the Governor of Florida , that the new Veteran's Nursing home, to be built in Panama City Florida, be named after Staff Sergeant Clifford Chester Sims.
It is with great pride that we can claim him as a native son of Gulf County as he was born and raised in Port St. Joe. Of the 19 Florida Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients his home is the closest to the proposed location. We appreciate any help that you can give us. I am Clifford's Brother-in-Law, he was married to my sister.
John Underwood Sr.
--- General / Personal ---
Last name: SIMS
First name: CLIFFORD CHESTER
Home of Record (official): PORT ST JOE
State (official): FL
Date of Birth: Saturday, July 18, 1942
Marital Status: Married
--- Military ---
Serial Number: 14780953
Pay grade: E6
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B4P
--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Thursday, December 14, 1967
Date of Casualty: Wednesday, February 21, 1968
Age at time of loss: 25
Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died
Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Thua Thien
The Wall: Panel 40E - Row 056
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