Fred Allen Gassman

Army of the United States
05 September 1947 - 06 October 1971
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Panel 07W Line 113

Silver Star

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Fred A Gassman

The database page for Fred Allen Gassman

13 Feb 1999


by his brother,
Don Gassman
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following


Sergeant Fred A. Gassman, United States Army, Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry in action on 24 September 1970 while serving on a long-range reconnaissance patrol operating deep within enemy-held territory. The team was preparing to move out of their night defensive position on the morning of 24 September 1970 when they were compromised by an enemy force of undetermined size. In the ensuing firefight, Sergeant Gassman moved without hesitation to an area of intense enemy fire to aid two commandos. A grenade thrown into their position by the enemy killed on commando and wounded the other, but miraculously Sergeant Gassman escaped injury. He ignored the enemy fire to aid the wounded commando in safely withdrawing to a more secure position. Finding the man not seriously injured, he returned to find the other commando beyond medical help. Sergeant Gassman, realizing the value of the equipment left behind during the team's withdrawal, returned to gather all remaining equipment before returning on the last trip with the body of the dead commando. The team leader then called in air strikes on the enemy positions so the team could be safely extracted. Sergeant Gassman's actions during this period were instrumental in saving one commando's life and in recovering equipment of value to the enemy if left behind. Sergeant Gassman's conspicuous gallantry was in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflects great credit on him, the Special Forces, and the United States Army.

Transcribed from the Citation by
K J Davis, Commander, USN (Ret)

A Note from The Virtual Wall

By report, Recon Team "Fer-de-Lance" was inserted into Laos west of the A Shau Valley on 05 Oct 1970. The team was led by SSgt David A. Davidson with Sgt Fred Gassman as number two and an unknown number of indigenous troops. The team was attacked on the night of 05/06 Oct while in a night defensive position just south of Route 922 near the village of Ta Bat. SSgt Davidson was hit and apparently killed early in the fight. Sgt Gassman and the surviving troops attempted to break contact, but were tracked and engaged by NVA troops. The last contact with the patrol was at about 1300 on 06 Oct, when Gassman reported that he had been hard hit. Two of the indigenous troops were successfully extracted and during their debriefs reported that both Davidson and Gassman had been fatally wounded. Although an immediate effort was made to recover the missing team members, the recovery team was unable to locate any of them before being forced from the area by NVA troops.

Both Davidson and Gassman were classed as Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. Their remains have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Don Gassman
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
13 Feb 1999

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/12/2006