Richard Franklin Abshire
Inducted on August 18, 2007
For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company G, second Battalion, fourth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 2 May 1968. Sergeant Abshire̓s unit and a sister company were launched on a coordinated attack against a
well-entrenched North Vietnamese Army force occupying the village of Dinh To, Quang Tri Procince. As the Marines entered the village, they were taken under devastating enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire which inflicted numerous casualties and temporarily halted the lead platoon of each company.
Directed to establish a defensive perimeter, Sergeant Abshire immediately deployed his men into advantageous firing positions and commenced directing a heavy volume of accurate fire into the enemy emplacements. As the enemy fire increased in volume and accuracy, it became apparent that the North Vietnamese force was preparing to launch a counterattack. Rapidly obtaining grenades from his fellow Marines, Sgt. Abshire boldly exposed himself to the full fury of enemy fire and threw several grenades into the enemy̓s ranks, halting their assault.
Returning to his unit, he moved from position to position despite intense enemy fire, to pinpoint hostile targets and encourage his men. As their ammunition supply depleted, he ordered his men to withdraw across a river and resolutely provided covering fire which enabled his men to reach positions of relative safety. After expending his ammunition, he was attempting to rejoin his unit when he was mortally wounded by enemy fire.
By his superior leadership, intrepid fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, Sgt. Abshire inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.