Honoring Sergeant First Class Lloyd Claude ``L.C.’’ Riceby Representative Mick Mulvaney
Posted on 2013-02-25
of south carolina
in the house of representatives
Monday, February 25, 2013
Mr. MULVANEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and mark
the passing of Sergeant First Class L.C. Rice, one of my constituents,
a highly decorated veteran, and a true servant of our nation.
SFC Rice was born in Greer, SC, in 1923, the son of the late Bunyon Clinton Rice and the late Tenie Jane Beaver Rice. L.C. Rice grew up during the Depression, so after completing the lower grades, he went to work. In January 1941, SFC Rice joined the Navy at the age of 17.
He was a machinist mate stationed on the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. His ship was in dry dock when it was attacked, and all weapons and ammunition had been removed. SFC Rice spent that day ``which shall live in infamy'' rescuing the wounded and collecting the dead.
Next, SFC Rice was sent on a secret mission to deliver the cruiser USS Milwaukee to the Russians. His family could not be told where he was, and he was gone for so long they believed him missing in action. Later, he was stationed on a ship off the coast of Normandy, which was torpedoed and sank beneath him. Although he was hit by shrapnel, he swam through the debris and made it to shore, rescuing others along the way. Once on land, L.C. was given a rifle and helped fight against the Nazis. During World War II, he served both in naval and ground combat in both the Pacific and the European theatres. SFC Rice also participated in the Pacific Island campaigns and was part of the atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946. For his service to our nation, SFC Rice was awarded the Purple Heart.
[[Page E184]] After his service in the Navy, SFC Rice joined the Army's 82nd Airborne and became a master parachutist, drill sergeant and jumpmaster, completing more than 1500 jumps. He served two combat tours in Korea and won a bronze star for bravery. SFC Rice was instrumental in forming the Army's ``Golden Knights'' official parachute team, and was one of the first military advisors sent to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War to train their soldiers. SFC Rice also trained soldiers at Fort Jackson and Fort Bragg.
SFC Rice retired from active duty in 1963 and from reserve duty in 1973, after 32 years of military service during three separate wars. SFC Rice is York County's most decorated soldier. After retirement, L.C. devoted nearly all his time to the Rock Hill VFW, the American Legion, the Honor Guard, and to veterans in general.
SFC Rice was interred with full military honors on February 15, 2013, in Rock Hill, SC. L.C. Rice was the widower of Jeanie Rice and Edna ``Jan'' Biles Rice. He was the last survivor of 11 children, six sisters and four brothers. He is survived by 11 nieces, 10 nephews, and many loyal friends and devoted caregivers.
L.C. Rice was an American Hero. He was truly on the front lines of the generation that saved America and the World. We will remember L.C. not only for his bravery and service to our country, but more importantly, as a dear friend. My thoughts and prayers are with L.C.'s family and for all those who knew him and share in the pain of his loss.