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The most inspiring MOH Citation...Which one is yours?


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#26 m151mp

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:33 AM

chaplain (captain) angelo liteky, a priest serving with the 199th light infantry brigade. dec 6, 1967. i don't know how to link stuff, but he was a priest who got the medal. that can't be something that happens very much. maybe someone here with computer know how can link it for others to see. he was in the same brigade i was in, but served before i got there.



#27 Garandomatic

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 04:11 AM

Here you go:

 

Chaplain Liteky distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was participating in a search and destroy operation when Company A came under intense fire from a battalion size enemy force. Momentarily stunned from the immediate encounter that ensued, the men hugged the ground for cover. Observing 2 wounded men, Chaplain Liteky moved to within 15 meters of an enemy machine gun position to reach them, placing himself between the enemy and the wounded men. When there was a brief respite in the fighting, he managed to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. Inspired by his courageous actions, the company rallied and began placing a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy's positions. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to the dying and evacuating the wounded. Noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, Chaplain Liteky crawled to his aid. Realizing that the wounded man was too heavy to carry, he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest and through sheer determination and fortitude crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels to push himself along. Pausing for breath momentarily, he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush. Once more intense enemy fire was directed at him, but Chaplain Liteky stood his ground and calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the landing zone for evacuation. On several occasions when the landing zone was under small arms and rocket fire, Chaplain Liteky stood up in the face of hostile fire and personally directed the medivac helicopters into and out of the area. With the wounded safely evacuated, Chaplain Liteky returned to the perimeter, constantly encouraging and inspiring the men. Upon the unit's relief on the morning of 7 December 1967, it was discovered that despite painful wounds in the neck and foot, Chaplain Liteky had personally carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation during the savage fighting. Through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy. Chaplain Liteky's actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.



#28 mes

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:09 AM

Desmond T Doss. His is inspiring not only by what he did but by his courage of conviction.

Mark



#29 439th Signal Battalion

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:18 AM

Here you go:

 

Chaplain Liteky distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was participating in a search and destroy operation when Company A came under intense fire from a battalion size enemy force. Momentarily stunned from the immediate encounter that ensued, the men hugged the ground for cover. Observing 2 wounded men, Chaplain Liteky moved to within 15 meters of an enemy machine gun position to reach them, placing himself between the enemy and the wounded men. When there was a brief respite in the fighting, he managed to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. Inspired by his courageous actions, the company rallied and began placing a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy's positions. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to the dying and evacuating the wounded. Noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, Chaplain Liteky crawled to his aid. Realizing that the wounded man was too heavy to carry, he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest and through sheer determination and fortitude crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels to push himself along. Pausing for breath momentarily, he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush. Once more intense enemy fire was directed at him, but Chaplain Liteky stood his ground and calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the landing zone for evacuation. On several occasions when the landing zone was under small arms and rocket fire, Chaplain Liteky stood up in the face of hostile fire and personally directed the medivac helicopters into and out of the area. With the wounded safely evacuated, Chaplain Liteky returned to the perimeter, constantly encouraging and inspiring the men. Upon the unit's relief on the morning of 7 December 1967, it was discovered that despite painful wounds in the neck and foot, Chaplain Liteky had personally carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation during the savage fighting. Through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy. Chaplain Liteky's actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

 

While Chaplain Liteky has done some very questionable things since Vietnam, including renouncing his Medal of Honor at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC in the 80's in protest to the School of the Americas, I will tell you for a fact that his actions on  6 December 1967 are worthy of every MoH action and recipient.  Many men are alive today because of him.

 

Not only was Chaplain Liteky all over the battlefield, he was also seen by several 199th LIB personnel administering last rights and aid to the wounded and dying NVA/VC.  After all, some of them were Catholics from North Vietnam.



#30 439th Signal Battalion

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:22 AM

F1.jpg

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Richard Allen Penry, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with Company C, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 199th Infantry Brigade, in action against enemy aggressor forces during a night ambush mission in Binh Tuy Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 31 January 1970. As the platoon was preparing the ambush position, it suddenly came under an intense enemy attack from mortar, rocket, and automatic weapons fire which seriously wounded the company commander and most of the platoon members, leaving small isolated groups of wounded men throughout the area. Sergeant Penry, seeing the extreme seriousness of the situation, worked his way through the deadly enemy fire to the company command post where he administered first aid to the wounded company commander and other personnel. He then moved the command post to a position which provided greater protection and visual communication and control of other platoon elements. Realizing the company radio was damaged and recognizing the urgent necessity to reestablish communications with the battalion headquarters, he ran outside the defensive perimeter through a fusillade of hostile fire to retrieve a radio. Finding it inoperable, Sergeant Penry returned through heavy fire to retrieve two more radios. Turning his attention to the defense of the area, he crawled to the edge of the perimeter, retrieved needed ammunition and weapons and re-supplied the wounded men. During a determined assault by over 30 enemy soldiers, Sergeant Penry occupied the most vulnerable forward position placing heavy, accurate fire on the attacking enemy and exposing himself several times to throw hand grenades into the advancing enemy troops. He succeeded virtually single-handedly in stopping the attack. Learning that none of the radios were operable, Sergeant Penry again crawled outside the defensive perimeter, retrieved a fourth radio and established communications with higher headquarters. Sergeant Penry then continued to administer first aid to the wounded and repositioned them to better repel further enemy attacks. Despite continuous and deadly sniper fire, he again left the defensive perimeter, moved to within a few feet of enemy positions, located five isolated wounded soldiers, and led them to safety. When evacuation helicopters approached, Sergeant Penry voluntarily left the perimeter, set up a guiding beacon, established the priorities for evacuation and successively carried 18 wounded men to the extraction site. After all wounded personnel had been evacuated, Sergeant Penry joined another platoon and assisted in the pursuit of the enemy. Sergeant Penry's extraordinary heroism at the risk of his own life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

 

 

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 40 (July 23, 1971)

Action Date: 31-Jan-70

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant

Company: Company C

Battalion: 4th Battalion

Regiment: 12th Infantry Regiment, 199th Infantry Brigade


Edited by cutiger83, 17 June 2014 - 06:26 PM.
Updating dead photo links 6/17/14


#31 m151mp

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:53 AM

garandomatic, thanks for linking that for me. robbie, 439th, glad you're enjoying the pics. were you able to figure out who got bunny eared?



#32 CHASEUSA11B

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:08 AM

I think the citations often do not do the recipients justice. Some of my favorite stories are Desmond Doss who's tale is best shown in the documentary The Conscientious Objector and Mike Thornton whose story is told on the PBS Medal of Honor documentary.

DOSS --He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet (120 m) high. As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying all 75 casualties one-by-one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On May 2, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards (180 m) forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards (7.3 m) of enemy forces in a cave's mouth, where he dressed his comrades' wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On May 5, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet (7.6 m) from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards (91 m) to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On May 21, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers' return, he was again struck, by a sniper bullet while being carried off the field by a comrade, this time suffering a compound fracture of 1 arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards (270 m) over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.


THORNTON
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while participating in a daring operation against enemy forces. PO Thornton, as Assistant U.S. Navy Advisor, along with a U.S. Navy lieutenant serving as Senior Advisor, accompanied a 3-man Vietnamese Navy SEAL patrol on an intelligence gathering and prisoner capture operation against an enemy-occupied naval river base. Launched from a Vietnamese Navy junk in a rubber boat, the patrol reached land and was continuing on foot toward its objective when it suddenly came under heavy fire from a numerically superior force. The patrol called in naval gunfire support and then engaged the enemy in a fierce firefight, accounting for many enemy casualties before moving back to the waterline to prevent encirclement. Upon learning that the Senior Advisor had been hit by enemy fire and was believed to be dead, PO Thornton returned through a hail of fire to the lieutenant's last position; quickly disposed of 2 enemy soldiers about to overrun the position, and succeeded in removing the seriously wounded and unconscious Senior Naval Advisor to the water's edge. He then inflated the lieutenant's lifejacket and towed him seaward for approximately 2 hours until picked up by support craft. By his extraordinary courage and perseverance, PO Thornton was directly responsible for saving the life of his superior officer and enabling the safe extraction of all patrol members, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.[4]

#33 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:41 PM

I'll second & third Desmond Doss and since he's already listed above, here's my other warrior

 

James E. Williams, USN

 

Medal of Honor

Navy Cross

Silver Star (2)

Legion of Merit w/V

Navy and Marine Corps Medal (2)

Bronze Star (3) w/V

Purple Heart (3)

plus many other awards

 

Boatswain's Mate First Class James E. Williams, United States Navy

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of River Section 531 during combat operations on the Mekong River in the Republic of Vietnam. On 31 October 1966, Petty Officer Williams was serving as Boat Captain and Patrol Officer aboard River Patrol Boat (PBR) 105 accompanied by another patrol boat when the patrol was suddenly taken under fire by two enemy sampans. Petty Officer Williams immediately ordered the fire returned, killing the crew of one enemy boat and causing the other sampan to take refuge in a nearby river inlet. Pursuing the fleeing sampan, the U.S. patrol encountered a heavy volume of small arms fire from enemy forces, at close range, occupying well-concealed positions along the river bank. Maneuvering through this fire, the patrol confronted a numerically superior enemy force aboard two enemy junks and eight sampans augmented by heavy automatic weapons fire from ashore. In the savage battle that ensued, Petty Officer Williams, with utter disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to the withering hail of enemy fire to direct counterfire and inspire the actions of his patrol. Recognizing the overwhelming strength of the enemy force, Petty Officer Williams deployed his patrol to await the arrival of armed helicopters. In the course of this movement he discovered an even larger concentration of enemy boats. Not waiting for the arrival of the armed helicopters, he displayed great initiative and boldly led the patrol through the intense enemy fire and damaged or destroyed fifty enemy sampans and seven junks. This phase of the action completed, and with the arrival of the armed helicopters, Petty Officer Williams directed the attack on the remaining enemy force. Now virtually dark, and although Petty Officer Williams was aware that his boats would become even better targets, he ordered the patrol boats' search lights turned on to better illuminate the area and moved the patrol perilously close to shore to press the attack. Despite a waning supply of ammunition the patrol successfully engaged the enemy ashore and completed the rout of the enemy force. Under the leadership of Petty Officer Williams, who demonstrated unusual professional skill and indomitable courage throughout the three hour battle, the patrol accounted for the destruction or loss of sixty-five enemy boats and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy personnel. His extraordinary heroism and exemplary fighting spirit in the face of grave risks inspired the efforts of his men to defeat a larger enemy force, and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service

 

 

It's worth mentioning that his Navy Cross citation is also quite astonishing and worth a look up.  

 

 

Navy Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Navy
Battalion: River Section 531
Division: Task Force 116 (TF-116)
GENERAL ORDERS:
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
 
CITATION:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Boatswain's Mate First Class James Elliott Williams (NSN: 9908934), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 15 January 1967 while serving with River Section 531, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), and friendly foreign forces during combat operations against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces on the Mekong River in the Republic of Vietnam. As Patrol Officer of a combat River Patrol Boat (PBR) patrol, Petty Officer Williams interdicted a major enemy supply movement across the Nam Thon branch of the Mekong River. He directed his units to the suspected crossing area, and was immediately taken under intense hostile fire from fortified positions and from along the river banks. After coordinating Vietnamese artillery support and U. S. Air Force air strikes, Petty Officer Williams courageously led his three PBR's back into the hazardous river to investigate and destroy the enemy sampans and supplies. Blistering fire was again unleashed upon his forces. Frequently exposing himself to enemy fire, he directed his units in silencing several automatic-weapons positions, and directed one PBR to investigate several sampans which could be seen, while the other PBR's provided cover fire. Almost immediately, the enemy renewed their fire in an effort to force the PBR's away from the sampans. Petty Officer Williams ordered the destruction of the sampan and the extraction of all his units. During the fierce firefight following the temporary immobilization of one of the units, Petty Officer Williams was wounded. Despite his painful injuries, he was able to lead his patrol back through the heavy enemy fire. His patrol had successfully interdicted a crossing attempt of three heavy-weapons companies totaling nearly four hundred men, had accounted for sixteen enemy killed in action, twenty wounded, the destruction of nine enemy sampans and junks, seven enemy structures, and 2400 pounds of enemy rice. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, his unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and his utmost devotion to duty, Petty Officer Williams upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
 
 
Link to his Citations - Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Medal (For a courageous underwater rescue from a sunken barge),  Bronze Star (2)
 
Use arrows >> at bottom of page to scroll to his additional citations  https://valor.milita...s.com/hero/1552

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Edited by Salvage Sailor, 09 August 2018 - 07:06 PM.
added citations


#34 copper252

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:27 PM

Jesse Ray Drowley

 

Company B, 1st Bn, 132nd Infantry Regt, Americal Division

 

For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at Bougainville, Solomon Islands, 30 January 1944. S/Sgt. Drowley, a squad leader in a platoon whose mission during an attack was to remain under cover while holding the perimeter defense and acting as a reserve for assaulting echelon, saw 3 members of the assault company fall badly wounded. When intense hostile fire prevented aid from reaching the casualties, he fearlessly rushed forward to carry the wounded to cover. After rescuing 2 men, S/Sgt. Drowley discovered an enemy pillbox undetected by assaulting tanks that was inflicting heavy casualties upon the attacking force and was a chief obstacle to the success of the advance. Delegating the rescue of the third man to an assistant, he ran across open terrain to 1 of the tanks. Signaling to the crew, he climbed to the turret, exchanged his weapon for a submachine gun and voluntarily rode the deck of the tank directing it toward the pillbox by tracer fire. The tank, under constant heavy enemy fire, continued to within 20 feet of the pillbox where S/Sgt. Drowley received a severe bullet wound in the chest. Refusing to return for medical treatment, he remained on the tank and continued to direct its progress until the enemy box was definitely located by the crew. At this point he again was wounded by small arms fire, losing his left eye and falling to the ground. He remained alongside the tank until the pillbox had been completely demolished and another directly behind the first destroyed. S/Sgt. Drowley, his voluntary mission successfully accomplished, returned alone for medical treatment.


Edited by copper252, 09 August 2018 - 06:28 PM.


#35 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:47 PM

As this old topic has been resurrected, I'll add my World War One Medal of Honor recipient, which I've posted elsewhere on the forum in reply to other topics.

 

MOH recipient Edouard Izac, USNA 1915
 
The troopship USS PRESIDENT LINCOLN (ex-Hamburg-American Line SS LINCOLN, a confiscated German Liner) was sunk in the mid Atlantic by the German submarine U-90
 
While his Commanding officer was cowering under a boat cloak in a lifeboat, First Lieutenant and Gunnery Officer of the sinking USS PRESIDENT LINCOLN was taken aboard the U-90 as the presumed senior surviving officer which was standard practice by the German Navy.  He remained aboard the U Boat on it's war patrol, incredibly with his .45 automatic side arm, at full liberty aboard the submarine as allowed by the Kapitan while memorizing crucial military information.  He later leaped from a moving POW train, was beaten and recaptured.  When he arrived at the POW camp, he had his guards arrested for striking a superior officer!  Some months later he escaped from the POW camp and swam across the Rhine river to make a full report to Naval authorities regarding U Boat operations.  Invalided from the service, he later served as a US Congressman from California.  At the time of his death in 1990, he was the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the Great War
 
If ever a WWI Hollywood movie needed to be made, it would be "Prisoner of the U-90"  The full text of his first hand report to Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy is here on the US National Archives website - well worth reading.  https://archive.org/...oneru01isaagoog
 
Medal of Honor Citation
 
When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-90, on 21 May 1918, Lt. Izac was captured and held as a prisoner on board the U-90 until the return of the submarine to Germany, when he was confined in the prison camp. During his stay on the U-90 he obtained information of the movements of German submarines which was so important that he determined to escape, with a view to making this information available to the U.S. and Allied Naval authorities. In attempting to carry out this plan, he jumped through the window of a rapidly moving train at the imminent risk of death, not only from the nature of the act itself but from the fire of the armed German soldiers who were guarding him. Having been recaptured and reconfined, Lt. Izac made a second and successful attempt to escape, breaking his way through barbed-wire fences and deliberately drawing the fire of the armed guards in the hope of permitting others to escape during the confusion. He made his way through the mountains of southwestern Germany, having only raw vegetables for food, and at the end, swam the River Rhine during the night in the immediate vicinity of German sentries.
 
More info and photos at the Arlington Cemetery website, including a color photo of his Tiffany Cross  http://www.arlington...net/evmizac.htm
 

 

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#36 Kration

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:28 PM

Bernard James Ray (June 9, 1921 – November 17, 1944) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest.

 

 

Ray joined the Army from Baldwin, New York in 1943,[1] and by November 17, 1944 was serving as a First Lieutenant in Company F, 8th Infantry Regiment4th Infantry Division. On that day, in the Hurtgen Forest near SchevenhütteGermany, Ray exposed himself to intense enemy fire in an attempt to destroy a wire obstacle that was blocking his unit's path. Seriously wounded while setting up an explosive charge to blow up the obstacle, he realized that he would not be able to accomplish his mission if he did not detonate the charge immediately. Ray set off the explosives, killing himself but successfully destroying the wire barricade. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor a year later, on December 8, 1945.

Ray, aged 23 at his death, was buried in Long Island National CemeteryFarmingdale, New York.

 

 

 

Medal of Honor citation

First Lieutenant Ray's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

He was platoon leader with Company F, 8th Infantry, on November 17, 1944, during the drive through the Hurtgen Forest near Schevenhutte, Germany. The American forces attacked in wet, bitterly cold weather over rough, wooded terrain, meeting brutal resistance from positions spaced throughout the forest behind minefields and wire obstacles. Small arms, machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire caused heavy casualties in the ranks when Company F was halted by a concertina-type wire barrier. Under heavy fire, 1st Lt. Ray reorganized his men and prepared to blow a path through the entanglement, a task which appeared impossible of accomplishment and from which others tried to dissuade him. With implacable determination to clear the way, he placed explosive capsin his pockets, obtained several bangalore torpedoes, and then wrapped a length of highly explosive primer cordabout his body. He dashed forward under direct fire, reached the barbed wire and prepared his demolition charge as mortar shells, which were being aimed at him alone, came steadily nearer his completely exposed position. He had placed a torpedo under the wire and was connecting it to a charge he carried when he was severely wounded by a bursting mortar shell. Apparently realizing that he would fail in his self-imposed mission unless he completed it in a few moments he made a supremely gallant decision. With the primer cord still wound about his body and the explosive caps in his pocket, he completed a hasty wiring system and unhesitatingly thrust down on the handle of the charger, destroying himself with the wire barricade in the resulting blast. By the deliberate sacrifice of his life, 1st Lt. Ray enabled his company to continue its attack, resumption of which was of positive significance in gaining the approaches to the Cologne Plain.



#37 MWalsh

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:47 AM

Sammy Davis.

 

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private First Class), U.S. Army, Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division
Place and date: West of Cai Lay, Republic of Vietnam, 18 November 1967
Entered service at: Indianapolis, Indiana
Born: 1 November, 1946, Dayton, Ohio

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Davis (then Pfc.) distinguished himself during the early morning hours while serving as a cannoneer with Battery C, at a remote fire support base. At approximately 0200 hours, the fire support base was under heavy enemy mortar attack. Simultaneously, an estimated reinforced Viet Cong battalion launched a fierce ground assault upon the fire support base. The attacking enemy drove to within 25 meters of the friendly positions. Only a river separated the Viet Cong from the fire support base. Detecting a nearby enemy position, Sgt. Davis seized a machine gun and provided covering fire for his guncrew, as they attempted to bring direct artillery fire on the enemy. Despite his efforts, an enemy recoilless rifle round scored a direct hit upon the artillery piece. The resultant blast hurled the guncrew from their weapon and blew Sgt. Davis into a foxhole. He struggled to his feet and returned to the howitzer, which was burning furiously. Ignoring repeated warnings to seek cover, Sgt. Davis rammed a shell into the gun. Disregarding a withering hail of enemy fire directed against his position, he aimed and fired the howitzer which rolled backward, knocking Sgt. Davis violently to the ground. Undaunted, he returned to the weapon to fire again when an enemy mortar round exploded within 20 meters of his position, injuring him painfully. Nevertheless, Sgt. Davis loaded the artillery piece, aimed and fired. Again he was knocked down by the recoil. In complete disregard for his safety, Sgt. Davis loaded and fired 3 more shells into the enemy. Disregarding his extensive injuries and his inability to swim, Sgt. Davis picked up an air mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue 3 wounded comrades on the far side. Upon reaching the 3 wounded men, he stood upright and fired into the dense vegetation to prevent the Viet Cong from advancing. While the most seriously wounded soldier was helped across the river, Sgt. Davis protected the 2 remaining casualties until he could pull them across the river to the fire support base. Though suffering from painful wounds, he refused medical attention, joining another howitzer crew which fired at the large Viet Cong force until it broke contact and fled. Sgt. Davis' extraordinary heroism, at the risk of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

#38 MWalsh

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:51 AM

I have two others, these because of the self injury. Tough to imagine doing either one.

 

John Levitow - USAF

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 3d Special Operations Squadron. place and date: Long Binh Army post, Republic of Vietnam, 24 February 1969. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Born: 1 November 1945, Hartford, Conn.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Levitow (then A1C), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army post. Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole 2 feet in diameter through the wing and fragments made over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were wounded and helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crewmember who had been launching flares to provide illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over 40 fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the opened cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. The aircraft was partially out of control and the flare was rolling wildly from side to side. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood from his many wounds and the partial loss of feeling in his right leg. Unable to grasp the rolling flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly device to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by his selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

 

Henry E. Erwin - Air Corps

 He was the radio operator of a B-29 airplane leading a group formation to attack Koriyama, Japan. He was charged with the additional duty of dropping phosphoresce smoke bombs to aid in assembling the group when the launching point was reached. Upon entering the assembly area, aircraft fire and enemy fighter opposition was encountered. Among the phosphoresce bombs launched by S/Sgt. Erwin, 1 proved faulty, exploding in the launching chute, and shot back into the interior of the aircraft, striking him in the face. The burning phosphoresce obliterated his nose and completely blinded him. Smoke filled the plane, obscuring the vision of the pilot. S/Sgt. Erwin realized that the aircraft and crew would be lost if the burning bomb remained in the plane. Without regard for his own safety, he picked it up and feeling his way, instinctively, crawled around the gun turret and headed for the copilot's window. He found the navigator's table obstructing his passage. Grasping the burning bomb between his forearm and body, he unleashed the spring lock and raised the table. Struggling through the narrow passage he stumbled forward into the smoke-filled pilot's compartment. Groping with his burning hands, he located the window and threw the bomb out. Completely aflame, he fell back upon the floor. The smoke cleared, the pilot, at 300 feet, pulled the plane out of its dive. S/Sgt. Erwin's gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty saved the lives of his comrades.[1]



#39 pathfinder11

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:29 AM

I share having had the privilege to curate his Medal of Honor and his surviving letters home: https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=808568 

 

 

 38804465_10106021082539148_2575047242884



#40 Jarhead8007

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 04:22 PM

Honestly, they're ALL inspiring.  But I think that 2ndLt Bobo probably ranks up there near the top:

 

SECOND LIEUTENANT JOHN P. BOBO
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
 
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
 
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Weapons Platoon Commander, Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 30 March 1967. Company I was establishing night ambush sites when the command group was attacked by a reinforced North Vietnamese company supported by heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. Lieutenant BOBO immediately organized a hasty defense and moved from position to position encouraging the outnumbered Marines despite the murderous enemy fire. Recovering a rocket launcher from among the friendly casualties, he organized a new launcher team and directed its fire into the enemy machine gun position. When an exploding enemy mortar round severed Lieutenant Bobo's right leg below the knee, he refused to be evacuated and insisted upon being placed in a firing position to cover the movement of the command group to a better location. With a web belt around his leg serving as tourniquet and with his leg jammed into the dirt to curtail the bleeding, he remained in this position and delivered devastating fire into the ranks of the enemy attempting to overrun the Marines. Lieutenant BOBO was mortally wounded while firing his weapon into the main point of the enemy attack but his valiant spirit inspired his men to heroic efforts, and his tenacious stand enabled the command group to gain a protective position where it repulsed the enemy onslaught. Lieutenant BOBO's superb leadership, dauntless courage, and bold initiative reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
 
He was 24 years old.


#41 Garandomatic

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:15 PM

Goodness...

#42 jweitkamp

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 01:24 PM

Another vote for Benavidez.

#43 Orion27

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 06:28 AM

SANTIAGO-COLON, HECTOR

Rank and organization:Specialist Four, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date:Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, June 28, 1968. Entered service at: New York, N.Y.

Born:December 20, 1942, Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Realizing that there was no time to throw the grenade out of his position, he retrieved the grenade, tucked it in to his stomach and, turning away from his comrades, absorbed the full impact of the blast. Sp4 Santiago-Colón distinguished himself at the cost of his life while serving as a gunner in the mortar platoon of Company B. While serving as a perimeter sentry, Sp4 Santiago-Colón heard distinct movement in the heavily wooded area to his front and flanks. He alerted his fellow sentries in the area to move to their foxholes and remain alert for any enemy probing forces. From the wooded area around his position heavy enemy automatic weapons and small arms fire suddenly broke out, but extreme darkness rendered difficult the precise location and identification of the hostile force. Only the muzzle flashes from enemy weapons indicated their position. Sp4 Santiago-Colón and the other members of his position immediately began to repel the attackers, utilizing hand grenades, antipersonnel mines and small-arms fire. Due to the heavy volume of enemy fire and exploding grenades around them, a North Vietnamese soldier was able to crawl, undetected, to their position. Suddenly, the enemy soldier lobbed a hand grenade into Sp4 Santiago-Colón's foxhole. Realizing that there was no time to throw the grenade out of his position, Sp4 Santiago-Colón retrieved the grenade, tucked it in to his stomach and, turning away from his comrades, absorbed the full impact of the blast. Heroic self-sacrifice saved the lives of those who occupied the foxhole with him, and provided them with the inspiration to continue fighting until they had forced the enemy to retreat from the perimeter. By his gallantry at the cost of his life and in the highest traditions of the military service, Sp4 Santiago-Colón has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.  

 

As William Broyles in his excellent essay (Why Men Love War) in Esquire in 1984 says:  

 

"This is classic heroism, the final evidence of how much comrades can depend on each other. What went through Santiago- Colon's mind for that split second when he could just a easily have dived to safety? It had to be this: my comrades are more important than my most valuable possession--my own life."


Edited by Orion27, 12 August 2018 - 06:28 AM.



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