Paul “Buzz” Frederick Little was born on 8 July 1947 to Paul and Jeanne Little. His father Paul was awarded the Silver Star for heroism in World War II. Buzz spent most of his childhood in Plainfield, New Jersey until his junior year of high school when the family moved to Huntington, Long Island. He was very active in Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Buzz participated in football and track for four years in high school, played lacrosse for two years and was voted king at his senior class prom. Buzz graduated from Walt Whitman High School, Huntington Station, New York in June 1966.
He entered the University of Rhode Island with the Class of 1970 majoring in Marine Science. He was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity, member of the crew team and participated in the Army ROTC Program while at URI. Buzz enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 1968 and deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in 1969. He was assigned to Company C, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division as an Infantryman in the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam.
For his heroic actions against an armed hostile force in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry, the Bronze Star with “V” device for Valor, the Bronze Star with 2 OLC for outstanding achievement, the Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device with 1 OLC for heroism, the Purple Heart Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The State of New York, Military Affairs, awarded Specialist Little the Conspicuous Service Cross on 14 October 1969 in recognition of his leadership and bravery under combat conditions.
The Silver Star Citation below details the circumstances of Specialist Four Paul Frederick Little’s death on 19 June 1969.
Silver Star Citation
For gallantry in action involving close combat against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Little distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on June 19, 1969, while serving as an Infantry Squad Leader with Company C, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, on a reconnaissance in force mission in Dinh Tuong Province. After his unit had sustained casualties while traveling through a heavily mined area, Specialist Little courageously rushed forward across the hazardous terrain to reach and administer aid to his wounded comrades.
After treating the wounded men, he carried one of them through the area to an evacuation site and immediately started to return for another wounded soldier. As he moved back toward the location of the casualties, he was mortally wounded by the detonation of an enemy explosive trap. Specialist Little’s extraordinary heroism in close combat with an armed hostile force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 9th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
Specialist Four Paul “Buzz” Frederick Little was buried with full military honors at the Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York. He is a true hero in every sense of the word who set the example for others to follow. Rest in peace Brave Soldier!