RICHARD F NUGENT - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- March 24, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- February 28, 1966
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Richard Francis Nugent was born on March 24, 1946. His home of record is Westwood, NJ. He had two brothers, William and Thomas, and three sisters, Mary Ann, Madeline and Cathleen. Richard attended Westwood High School and left a year shy of graduation to enlist.
Nugent enlisted in the US Marine Corps on April 29, 1963. He attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
At the time of his death, Richard was in Vietnam for his second tour of duty. In the fall of 1964, he served there as a grenade launcher in a weapons platoon. He returned to the United States in January 1965, but soon was assigned to a fleet-ready unit in the Pacific.
Richard began his second tour of duty in Vietnam in September, serving periodically with units on shore. In December, he was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines.
In February 1966, Nugent's Company was pinned down by an enemy machine gun in Thua Thien Province during Operation New York. Nugent and two fellow Marines attempted to dash over 70 yards of open ground to get the gun that had his company pinned down. The distracted enemy machine gun crew was eliminated but a grenade hit Nugent. He sustained multiple fragmentation wounds while participating in this operation assignment against hostile forces near the town of Phu Bai.
Nugent died of his wounds on February 28, 1966. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Nugent was awarded the Bronze Star with a combat V for action in Vietnam, which his mother, Mrs. Madeline Nugent, accepted posthumously. Nugent and his partners tried to get across 70 yards of terrain under heavy fire, when he was mortally wounded. The assault by the three men however, distracted the enemy long enough for the rest of the company to move up and destroy the machine gun.
Sources: Bobbi Pabst (friend), newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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