Medal of Honor & Victoria Cross Recipient
Robert J. Pruden - USA (MOH Citation)
Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pruden for his actions on 29 November, while patrolling as a reconnaissance Team Leader with Company G (Ranger), 75th Infantry, Americal Division. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while assigned to Company G (Ranger), 75th Infantry. Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pruden distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance team leader during an ambush mission. The six-man team was inserted by helicopter into enemy controlled territory to establish an ambush position and to obtain information concerning enemy movements. As the team moved into the pre-planned area, Staff Sergeant Pruden deployed his men into two groups on the opposite sides of a well used trail. As the groups were establishing their defensive positions, one member of the team was trapped in the open by the heavy fire from an enemy squad. Realizing that the ambush position had been compromised, Staff Sergeant Pruden directed his team to open fire on the enemy force. Immediately, the team came under fire from a second enemy element. Staff Sergeant Pruden, with full knowledge of the extreme danger involved, left his concealed position and, firing as he ran, advanced toward the enemy to draw the hostile fire. He was seriously wounded twice but continued his attack until he fell for a third time, in front of the enemy positions. Staff Sergeant Pruden"s actions resulted in several enemy casualties and withdrawal of the remaining enemy force. Although grievously wounded, he directed his men into defensive positions and called for evacuation helicopters, which safely withdrew the members of the team. Staff Sergeant Pruden"s outstanding courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his men, and intrepidity in action 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 U.S. Army.