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Name: Larry Douglas Nelson
Panel/Line: 48W/46
Force: Army
Company: C
Rank: Corporal / Specialist Four
Pay Grade: E4
CAACF: 54968767
Home of Record: Royal Oak, MI
Birth Date: July 26, 1947
Race: Caucasian
Gender: M
Religion: Baptist
Married: N
Death Date: August 18, 1968
Cause of Death: ground casualty multiple fragmentation wounds hostile; wounds
Died in Long An at age 21
The body was recovered.
Larry Douglas Nelson

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Distinguished Service Cross Recipient, Posthumously.

Comment[Joe DeAngelis]

He received the DSC for pulling me to safety after I was wounded on 8/7/68. Larry was one the originals at Fort Lewis.

Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Specialist Fourth Class Larry Douglas Nelson (ASN: US-54968767), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company C, 6th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Specialist Four Nelson distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 August 1968 during combat operations east of Can Giuoc. While his platoon was receiving fire from a Viet Cong bunker system, Specialist Nelson spotted an approaching enemy soldier armed with a grenade. With complete disregard for his safety, he charged the advancing foe and wrested the grenade from him. During the struggle the pin on the grenade was pulled. Specialist Nelson immediately retrieved the deadly explosive and threw it away from the platoon so that it detonated harmlessly. As a squad began to assault the bunkers, one of the men fell seriously wounded. Specialist Nelson unhesitatingly crawled through the intense hostile fire to the injured man and returned him to safety. His platoon continued its efforts to destroy the fortified enemy bunker complex, and he began to move toward a bunker which was the source of heavy fire. Exposing himself to a hail of bullets, he stood up to hurl a hand grenade into the emplacement and was mortally wounded. Specialist Four Nelson's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Service: Army

Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 5003 (October 29, 1968)

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[Mary Kowatch, First Cousin]

Sergeant Joe DeAngelis was still lying in the open, badly wounded. The VC put another round in him every time he moved. Furious at what was happening, Specialist Larry D. Nelson (21) went out and rescued him.

An extract of his Distinguished Service Cross citation reads:

"While his platoon was receiving fire from a Viet Cong bunker system, Specialist Nelson spotted an approaching enemy soldier armed with a grenade. With complete disregard for his safety, he charged the advancing foe and wrested the grenade from him. Specialist Nelson retrieved the deadly explosive and threw it away from the platoon so that it detonated harmlessly. As a squad began to assault the bunkers, one of the men fell seriously wounded. Specialist Nelson unhesitatingly crawled through the intense hostile fire to the injured man (Sergeant DeAngelis) and returned him to safety. While his platoon continued its effort to destroy the fortified enemy bunker complex, he began to move toward a bunker, which was the source of heavy fire. Exposing himself to a hail of bullets, he stood to hurl a grenade into the emplacement and was mortally wounded."

Joe DeAngelis was evacuated to the 3rd Field Hospital at Tan Son Nhut. He woke up the next morning to find Larry Nelson in the bed next to his. DeAngelis thanked him profusely.

Thank you for your service, then and now.

Mary Kowatch, cousin.  kowatchmary@gmail.com