Roy Edward Pitts

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
12 August 1950 - 17 February 1969
North Highlands, California
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Navy Cross

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Roy Edward Pitts

30 May 2005

Eddy, you have always been My Hero. This is long overdue. We played football together many years ago. Then you went off to be a Marine. And then to that Damned War. I always knew you would be a hero. You cared too much about others. You died just how you lived, helping others. The Navy Cross is a poor replacement for you. But, GOD got a GREAT Marine. You will always be in a very sacred place in my heart. My 17th birthday was and always will be a sad day. Because two days before it, God drafted a Great Marine to guard the Golden Streets of Heaven. You played football, shot-putted and lived just like you died. You gave it all. I hope all that read this know, that you were a Great Friend, a Great Athlete, a Great Man and a GREAT MARINE. I will make it to the WALL one day, and we will reach out and touch each other again.

Your Friend and Fellow Veteran,
Jeff Currier

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Marines are notoriously tight with awards for valor in combat - they expect, and get, unusual valor as a matter of course.

On 17 Feb 1969, though, the Marines of Golf Company, 2/9 Marines, went beyond even Marine standards. Although they lost seven men in a fight 5 kilometers southwest of FSB Erskine, there was one Navy Cross and two Silver Stars among them:

  • LCpl Reginald J. Rodriguez, Montebello, CA
  • LCpl James D. Snyder, Derwent, OH
  • Pfc James W. Bell, Chicago, IL
  • Pfc Michael A. Clute, Hinsdale, NY (Silver Star)
  • Pfc Roger L. Elkins, Fort Gibson, OK (Silver Star)
  • Pfc Weldon G. Lynn, Winder, GA
  • Pfc Roy E. Pitts, North Highlands, CA (Navy Cross)
According to the 2/9 Operations Log, the fight also resulted in 13 wounded from Golf 2/9 and Hotel 2/9 had 3 wounded in another firefight. Almost seven months later, on 11 Aug 1969, another 2/9 Marine died from wounds received on 17 Feb - LCpl Robert W. Hock of Harvey, Illinois. The Virtual Wall has not yet determined if he was from Golf or Hotel 2/9.

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Grenadier with Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 17 February 1969, Company G was conducting a reconnaissance in force twenty-five miles southeast of the Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province when the lead platoon came under an intense volume of automatic weapons fire from a large hostile force well entrenched in a camouflaged bunker complex. Assigned to retrieve a Marine who was mortally wounded during the initial moments of the fire fight, Private First Class Pitts' point man maneuvered toward the fallen Marine, who was painfully wounded by enemy automatic weapons fire. After several attempts to aid the two Marines failed, Private First Class Pitts, reacting instantly and with complete disregard for his own safety, fearlessly left his covered position and commenced crawling across twenty meters of fire-swept terrain toward his wounded comrades. Reaching the critically injured point man and observing that he was bleeding profusely, Private First Class Pitts immediately administered emergency first aid to his companion. After skillfully applying a battle dressing to temporarily stop the bleeding, he began to drag the man toward a relatively safe area, offering him encouragement while simultaneously directing the covering fire of his squad. After pulling the Marine away from the area of heaviest contact, Private First Class Pitts was mortally wounded by enemy small-arms fire. His heroic and bold efforts inspired all who observed him and saved the life of his fellow Marine. By his courage, selfless concern for his fellowman, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Private First Class Pitts upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Jun 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009