Medal of Honor Citation

Master Sergeant Richard Allan Pittman, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in July 1966, was born 26 May 1945 in San Joaquin, California. He attended Hazieton Elementary School, Fremont Junior High School, and graduated from Franklin High School, Stockton, California, in June 1964.

Enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Stockton, 27 September 1965, he was discharged 31 October to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps 1 November 1965.

After recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, in December 1965, he went on to individual combat training with the 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, Marne Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, graduating in February 1966. Upon graduation, he was promoted to private first class.

Transferred to the Far East in the Republic of Vietnam, he joined Company I, Battalion Landing Team 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division and served as a rifleman with this unit until May 1966. He then became a rifleman and squad leader with Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, serving in this capacity until February 1967. He was promoted to lance corporal 1 July 1966, and received a meritorious promotion to corporal 12 November 1966.

Corporal Pittman next saw duty as section leader and motor vehicle operator with Transport Company, 7th Motor Transport Battalion, 1st Marine Division (redesignated Transport Company, 7th Motor Transport Battalion, Force Logistics Command).

While serving in Vietnam, he participated in numerous combat operations including Operation Deckhouse 1 and Joint Operation Nathan Hale with Army, Navy, and Air Force, at Song Cau District; Operation Deckhouse 2 and Operation Hastings at Quang Tri Province; Operation Colorado and Operation Napa at Tam-Ky Province; Operation DeSoto near Quang Ngai; and in action against enemy forces at Da Nang.

Upon his return to the United States, he served his last tour of duty as a postal clerk with Headquarters Company, Headquarters Battalion, 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. While stationed at Camp Pendleton, he was promoted to sergeant 1 December 1967. He was discharged from active duty 5 April 1968.

In 1970, he reenlisted in the Marine Corps and was promoted to Master Sergeant during his 21-year career. He retired in November 1988.

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Vietnam War Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University