b. 21/07/1924 Accoville, West Virginia. d. 19/11/1966 Plei Djereng, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 19/11/1966 Plei Djereng, Vietnam.
Belcher joined the Army from Huntington, West Virginia in April 1943, and served in World War II. By November 19, 1966 he was serving as a Sergeant in Company C, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On that day, at Plei Djereng Camp in the Republic of Vietnam, Belcher smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown hand grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him.
Distinguishing himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life. Sgt. Belcher's unit was engaged in a search and destroy mission with Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, the Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon and a special forces company of civilian irregular defense group personnel. As a squad leader of the 2d Platoon of Company C, Sgt. Belcher was leading his men when they encountered a bunker complex. The reconnaissance platoon, located a few hundred meters northwest of Company C, received a heavy volume of fire from well camouflaged snipers. As the 2d Platoon moved forward to assist the unit under attack, Sgt. Belcher and his squad, advancing only a short distance through the dense jungle terrain, met heavy and accurate automatic weapons and sniper fire. Sgt. Belcher and his squad were momentarily stopped by the deadly volume of enemy fire. He quickly gave the order to return fire and resume the advance toward the enemy. As he moved up with his men, a hand grenade landed in the midst of the sergeant's squad. Instantly realizing the immediate danger to his men, Sgt. Belcher, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, lunged forward, covering the grenade with his body. Absorbing the grenade blast at the cost of his life, he saved his comrades from becoming casualties.
BURIAL LOCATION: GREENWOOD CEMETERY, ZANESVILLE, OHIO.
Area C, Lot 11