He was only 19 when he was drafted in June of 1967.
Three months later, Clarence Sasser was on the ground in Vietnam as a Medical Corpsman helping to save lives.
It was a big change for Sasser who was born and raised in Rosharon in what was then a segregated society.
“I think a lot of us came out better because the teachers then (at the all-Black Marshall High School) were more aware of the problems we had to surmount to get along,” he said.
Little did he know the challenges he’d face. He was in his freshman year at the University of Houston when he was drafted and sent into war.
The battle that changed his life took place on January 10th, 1968 in the Dinh Tuong province in Vietnam.
The Medal of Honor citation says “During the first few minutes, over 30 casualties were sustained. Without hesitation, Sp5c. Sasser ran across an open rice paddy through a hail of fire to assist the wounded.” The citation continues: “He was painfully wounded in the left shoulder by fragments of an exploding rocket. Refusing medical attention, he ran through a barrage of rocket and automatic weapons fire to aid casualties of the initial attack.”
See and hear the Clarence Sasser story on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.
You can also hear more of his interview on this weeks’ Houston Newsmakers EXTRA ONLINE.
- For Information on three living African American recipients of the Medal of Honor
- · Clarence Sasser, Awarded March 7, 1969
- · Melvin Morris, Awarded March 18, 2014:
- · John Canley, Awarded October 17, 2018:
- · Medal of Honor winner killed during robbery: Dwight Johnson, Awarded November 19, 1968
- See more information about all Medal of Honor recipients: