b. 03/11/1947 Whitesville, Kentucky. d. 29/12/1968 Giao Duc District, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/12/1968 Giao Duc District, Vietnam.
David Paul Nash, known as “Paulie” to his friends, was the son of Ishmael Worth Nash (1915–1980) and Mary Stella Nash née Howard (born 1925) and had six brothers and one sister. David Paul Nash was “a typical country boy who loved to fish and hunt, was not afraid of hard work, and raised a tobacco crop with his older brother … was a member of St. Mary’s of the Woods Catholic Church, where he was an altar boy … after schooling at St. Mary’s High School, was drafted into the United States Army and … had no second thoughts about serving his country in Vietnam; he expressed to friends and family that it was the right thing to do …”.
Nash joined the Army from Whitesville, Kentucky, and by December 29, 1968, was serving as a private first class in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. On that day, in Giao Duc District, Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, Nash smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown grenade with his body, sacrificing his life to protect his fellow soldiers. His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his family by President Richard M. Nixon on April 7, 1970 at The White House.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Nash distinguished himself while serving as a grenadier with Company B, in Giao Duc district. When an ambush patrol of which he was a member suddenly came under intense attack before reaching its destination, he was the first to return the enemy fire. Taking an exposed location, Pfc. Nash suppressed the hostile fusillade with a rapid series of rounds from his grenade launcher, enabling artillery fire to be adjusted on the enemy. After the foe had been routed, his small element continued to the ambush site where he established a position with three fellow soldiers on a narrow dike. Shortly past midnight, while Pfc. Nash and a comrade kept watch and the two other men took their turn sleeping, an enemy grenade wounded two soldiers in the adjacent position. Seconds later, Pfc. Nash saw another grenade land only a few feet from his own position. Although he could have escaped harm by rolling down the other side of the dike, he shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive. Absorbing the blast with his body, he saved the lives of the three men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. By his gallantry at the cost of his life and in the highest traditions of the military service, Pfc. Nash has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ST MARYS IN THE WOODS CEMETERY, WHITESVILLE, KENTUCKY.
SECTION VII, ROW A, LOT 4.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.