Roger Allen Pederson

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
02 May 1951 - 29 March 1971
Elk Mound, Wisconsin
Panel 04W Line 092


Distinguished Service Cross

Combat Medic

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Roger Allen Pederson

9 Apr 2004

APO San Francisco 96477

14 June 1971



1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.

PEDERSON, ROGER A. 398-54-5854 SPECIALIST FOUR United States Army
HQ & HQ Troop, 3d Squadron, 5th Cavalry, 5th Infantry Division

Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date action: 29 March 1971
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For extraordinary heroism in connection with Military operations involving, conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Four Pederson distinguished himself as medical aidman in support of a besieged American unit. While en route to the contact area, his convoy was ambushed by an enemy force firing rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons. Specialist Pederson leaped from his vehicle amid intense enemy fire and raced forward to treat the wounded. With enemy rounds spraying around him, Specialist Pederson treated two wounded and dragged both to safety. Although wounded in this action, he again attempted to reach another casualty. Ignoring his own wounds Specialist Pederson began treating the casualty´┐Żs wounds. When a hail of bullets struck his location, Specialist Pederson shielded the soldier with his own body, sustaining additional wounds. Shortly thereafter he succumbed to his own wounds. Specialist Four Pederson's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty at the cost of his life were in keeping of the traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 25 July 1963.


Chief of Staff

Adjutant General


by his comrades in arms in the
5th Infantry Division


Placed by the Webmaster, Society of the Fifth Division,
Gary Huber
CSM, U S Army (Ret)

11 Jun 2006

On 29 March 1971 we were ambushed by enemy forces in the Quang Tri province of South Vietnam. Our convoy of armored personnel carriers sustained heavy damage from RPG's and small arms fire. A number of our men were killed or wounded including myself. I had shrapnel wounds in my chest and side and a bullet wound in my lower back. The attack had split our company in half and the medic was in the track behind us approximately 30 yards or so. Our track was exploding and we had no defense as all our weapons were on the burning APC. I was lying on my stomach in the dirt screaming for a medic when I looked to my right and saw one running toward us. He slid on his knees beside me and said something like "Hang in there buddy. I got you". Then in a hail of small arms fire, he fell beside me.

I didn't know him. I asked someone on the dustoff who he was. They thought his name was "Peterson". All these years I couldn't find anything about him. Then with the help of the Wall, I found SP4 Roger Allen Pederson. I read the account of his death. I was the casualty he raced to save after he dragged two others to saftey. "Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another." Thank You, Sir. I have enjoyed a good life because of your unselfish bravery.

Always in your debt,
SP4 Philip G. Jackson
A friend and fellow soldier,

20 Jun 2006

I served with Roger Pederson, in fact I was his senior medic. I had been wounded three weeks earlier and Roger was riding in my place. It took me many years to come to grips with that. One of the people he tried to save was my best friend Gayle Cox. We were to meet up that day to say goodby as he was leaving Vietnam in just a day or two. I had just linked up with the convoy, but didnt get a chance to see either of them before the ambush that killed them both. I was at the end of the convoy and had several wounded men to take care of during the ambush. By the time I made it forward both of them were killed. I was the one who had to put their bodies on the chopper, and I was told of Roger's brave effort to save his men. I never left my people again until my DEROS date later that year.

From a fellow medic.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Only two men from the 3rd Sqdn, 5th Cavalry can be associated with the convoy ambush: SGT William Gayle Cox of Louisville, Kentucky, in "C" Troop, and SP4 Roger A. Pederson. Six other soldiers died in Quang Tri Province on 29 March 1971 and it may be that one or more of them were on the convoy.

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 9 Apr 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009