Eyewitness Statement of Edward J. Pettit

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Eyewitness Statement of Edward J. Pettit  (1968) 
by Edward J. Pettit

From the National Archives and Records Administration; Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia, 1950 - 1976; Series: Medal of Honor Awards Case Files, compiled 1965 - ca. 1972; File unit: Case File for Joe Hooper, ca. 1968 - ca. 1969; ARC #305377



Sgt Joe R. Hooper led his squad against heavy enemy fire on February 21st and moved out under this fire time after time to help the wounded. He was wounded himself early in the fighting but this didn't stop him. He knocked out several enemy bunkers by himself, charging them with grenades. In most cases the rest of his men came on through after he had already taken care of the situation. He blew up a couple hooches with LAWs and stabbed one NVA when the gook's rifle misfired. I know a lot of men were awfully afraid to go forward since the enemy fire was terrific and they had bunkers on every side. But the reason no one lagged behind was because Sgt Hooper was always out front, and it kind of shamed them and made them feel more confident at the same time. Sgt Hooper was wounded a few times but he just kept right on fighting. When we got to the final lines the NVA had real strong bunkers and they were pouring out very heavy fire. A lot of guys wondered how we were going to take the position when Sgt Hooper called out for everybody to cover him as he charged through the trenchline blowing up bunkers with hand grenades. He had SP4 Urban follow right behind him with his rifle to get what he missed. Sgt Hooper saved a lot of guys' lives that day, and by himself killed more than the rest of us put together. Even after the fighting was over he didn't go and get his wounds taken care of. Instead he made sure everybody else was taken care of and then he prepared the men for the next day's fight.

Edward J. Pettit, Jr.

SGT, Co D (2/501)


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).