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COMBAT MEDICS! the most MoH awarded recipients more often than not.
Well I will have to recognize the only USCG MOH recipient
DOUGLAS A. MUNRO
Signalman 1st class
Died on guadalcanal at age 22
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti, United States Army.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
SFC JARED C. MONTI of Raynham, Mass
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call
Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity
above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a team leader with Headquarters and
Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team,
10th Mountain Division, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy
in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006.
While Staff Sergeant Monti was leading a mission aimed at gathering intelligence and
directing fire against the enemy, his 16-man patrol was attacked by as many as 50 enemy
fighters. On the verge of being overrun, Staff Sergeant Monti quickly directed his men to
set up a defensive position behind a rock formation. He then called for indirect fire
support, accurately targeting the rounds upon the enemy who had closed to within 50
meters of his position. While still directing fire, Staff Sergeant Monti personally engaged
the enemy with his rifle and a grenade, successfully disrupting an attempt to flank his
patrol. Staff Sergeant Monti then realized that one of his Soldiers was lying wounded in
the open ground between the advancing enemy and the patrol’s position.
With complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Monti twice attempted to
move from behind the cover of the rocks into the face of relentless enemy fire to rescue
his fallen comrade. Determined not to leave his Soldier, Staff Sergeant Monti made a
third attempt to cross open terrain through intense enemy fire. On this final attempt, he
was mortally wounded, sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his fellow Soldier.
Staff Sergeant Monti’s selfless acts of heroism inspired his patrol to fight off the larger
enemy force. Staff Sergeant Monti’s immeasurable courage and uncommon valor are in
keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon
himself, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment,
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army
This is a former Class mate and neighborhood friend of mine. A Naval destroyer and a hospital were named after him. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Caron_(DD-970)) . Not bad for a common everyday kid who just liked to play baseball in the field behind my house. We used to date the same girl in high school. She finally dumped us both.
*CARON, WAYNE MAURICE
Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman Third Class, U.S. Navy, Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 28 July 1968. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Born: 2 November 1946, Middleboro, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon corpsman with Company K, during combat operations against enemy forces. While on a sweep through an open rice field HC3c. Caron's unit started receiving enemy small arms fire. Upon seeing 2 marine casualties fall, he immediately ran forward to render first aid, but found that they were dead. At this time, the platoon was taken under intense small-arms and automatic weapons fire, sustaining additional casualties. As he moved to the aid of his wounded comrades, HC3c. Caron was hit in the arm by enemy fire. Although knocked to the ground, he regained his feet and continued to the injured marines. He rendered medical assistance to the first marine he reached, who was grievously wounded, and undoubtedly was instrumental in saving the man's life. HC3c. Caron then ran toward the second wounded marine, but was again hit by enemy fire, this time in the leg. Nonetheless, he crawled the remaining distance and provided medical aid for this severely wounded man. HC3c. Caron started to make his way to yet another injured comrade, when he was again struck by enemy small-arms fire. Courageously and with unbelievable determination, HC3c. Caron continued his attempt to reach the third marine until he was killed by an enemy rocket round. His inspiring valor, steadfast determination and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Freeman's passing got heavy coverage, actually, back in '08 when it happened, mostly because Bruce Crandall had just received his own medal and the We Were Soldiers movie had only been released a few years before.You’re a 19 year old kid.
You are critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam .It’s November 14, 1965
Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.
You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you’re not getting out.
Your family is half way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again.
As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day. He’s not MedEvac so it’s not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety. And, he keeps coming back!! 13 more times!!
Until all the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm.
He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Army, died at the age of 81, in Boise, Idaho.
I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing, Medal of Honor Winner Captain Ed Freeman
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I’ve met Mike and drank with him on a couple occasions, he is an absolute animal still, dude’s a beast. He’s also good friends with my HH6 thru their work together for the USO.Good thread. I learned about this guy just today: he's supposedly the only MOH recipient to earn the decoration for saving the life of another MOH recipient. Both are still with us as of August 2021.
Michael E 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.
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Hearing him tell his own story on Jocko's podcast is absolutely riveting!
SFC Jared Monti
Since the other thread apparently jumped the tracks right off the bat, I wanted to start something here. Feel free to post about whichever MoH winner you want - they are all truly amazing stories. My favorite:
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank and organization: Master Sergeant. Organization: Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam
Place and date: West of Loc Ninh on May 2, 1968
Richard Sorenson was the guest speaker at our Marine Corps Ball in Lake Tahoe in 1996.I've only met one MOH recipient...
This is a good video about his actions that saved 8 other men. I don't know how he survived, I believe his faith had a lot to do with it.
“Place and date: West of Loc Ninh on May 2, 1968”Master SGT Benavidez was so far west of Loc Ninh he was in Cambodia.
He was a member of MACVSOG Command and Control South. One of the reasons he was originally only awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
ROY BENAVIDEZ, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTHOME » ROY BENAVIDEZ, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
MSG Roy P. Benavidez
USA – Vietnam
Det B-56, 5th SFG(A)
Loc Ninh, Cambodia
Action on: May 2, 1968
Death: November 29, 1998Master Sergeant Raul Perez “Roy” Benavidez (August 5, 1935 – November 29, 1998) was a member of the United States Army Special Forces (Studies and Observations Group) and retired United States Army master sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for his valorous actions in combat near Lộc Ninh, South Vietnam on May 2, 1968.
Benavidez enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard in 1952 during the Korean War. In June 1955, he switched from the Army National Guard to Army active duty. In 1959, he married Hilaria Coy Benavidez, completed Airborne training, and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Army Special Forces
Benavidez returned to Fort Bragg and began training for the elite Army Special Forces. Once qualified and accepted, he became a member of the 5th Special Forces Group; and the Studies and Observations Group (SOG).
In 1965 he was sent to South Vietnam as an advisor to an Army of the Republic of Vietnam infantry regiment. He stepped on a land mine during a patrol and was evacuated to the United States. Doctors at Fort Sam Houston concluded he would never walk again and began preparing his medical discharge papers. As Benavidez noted in his 1981 MOH acceptance speech, stung by the diagnosis, as well as flag burnings and media criticism of the US military presence in Vietnam he saw on TV, he began an unsanctioned nightly training ritual in an attempt to redevelop his ability to walk.
Getting out of bed at night (against doctors’ orders), Benavidez would crawl using his elbows and chin to a wall near his bedside and (with the encouragement of his fellow patients, many of whom were permanently paralyzed and/or missing limbs) he would prop himself against the wall and attempt to lift himself unaided, starting by wiggling his toes, then his feet, and then eventually (after several months of excruciating practice that, by his own admission, often left him in tears) pushing himself up the wall with his ankles and legs. After over a year of hospitalization, Benavidez walked out of the hospital in July 1966, with his wife at his side, determined to return to combat in Vietnam. Despite continuing pain from his wounds, he returned to South Vietnam in January 1968.
6 Hours in Hell
On May 2, 1968, a 12-man Special Forces patrol, which included nine Montagnard tribesmen, was surrounded by a NVA infantry battalion of about 1,000 men. Benavidez heard the radio appeal for help and boarded a helicopter to respond. Armed only with a knife, he jumped from the helicopter carrying his medical bag and ran to help the trapped patrol. Benavidez “distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions… and because of his gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men.”
At one point in the battle an NVA soldier accosted him and stabbed him with his bayonet. Benavidez pulled it out, yanked out his own knife, killed him and kept going, leaving his knife in the NVA soldier’s body. After the battle, he was evacuated to the base camp, examined, and thought to be dead. As he was placed in a body bag among the other dead in body bags, he was suddenly recognized by a friend who called for help. A doctor came and examined him but believed Benavidez was dead. The doctor was about to zip up the body bag when Benavidez managed to spit in his face, alerting the doctor that he was alive. Benavidez had a total of 37 separate bullet, bayonet, and shrapnel wounds from the six-hour fight with the enemy battalion.
Benavidez was evacuated once again to Fort Sam Houston’s Brooke Army Medical Center, where he eventually recovered. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism and four Purple Hearts. In 1969, he was assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas. In 1972, he was assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he remained until retirement.
In 1973, after more detailed accounts became available, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Ralph R. Drake insisted that Benavidez receive the Medal of Honor. By then, however, the time limit on the medal had expired. An appeal to Congress resulted in an exemption for Benavidez, but the Army Decorations Board denied him an upgrade of his Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor.
The Army board required an eyewitness account from someone present during the action. Benavidez believed that there were no living witnesses of the “Six Hours in Hell.”
Unbeknownst to Benavidez, there was a living witness, who would later provide the eyewitness account necessary: Brian O’Connor, the former radioman of Benavidez’s Special Forces team in Vietnam. O’Connor had been severely wounded (Benavidez had believed him dead), and he was evacuated to the United States before his superiors could fully debrief him.
O’Connor had been living in the Fiji Islands when, in 1980, he was on holiday in Australia. During his holiday O’Connor read a newspaper account of Benavidez from an El Campo newspaper, which had been picked up by the international press and reprinted in Australia. O’Connor immediately contacted Benavidez and submitted a ten-page report of the encounter, confirming the accounts provided by others, and serving as the necessary eyewitness. Benavidez’s Distinguished Service Cross accordingly was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
On February 24, 1981, President Ronald Reagan presented Roy P. Benavidez with the Medal of Honor. Reagan turned to the press and said, “If the story of his heroism were a movie script, you would not believe it”. He then read the official award citation.
I accidently found this man's grave in Fairview Cemetery in Chicopee a few years back.
Sgt Charles Tracy.
At the risk of his own life, at Spotsylvania, 12 May 1864, assisted in carrying to a place of safety a wounded and helpless officer. On 2 April 1865, advanced with the pioneers, and, under heavy fire, assisted in removing two lines of chevaux-de-frise; was twice wounded but advanced to the third line, where he was again severely wounded, losing a leg.
It is a travesty that these men had to wait so long to be recognised for their courage.4 New fellas added to the CMH Rolls today. God bless them all and a heartfelt Thank you.
The recipients include Specialist 5 Dwight Birdwell, who led an armored unit through a bloody ambush in 1968; Maj. John J. Duffy, a Special Forces officer who fought off an attack on his fire base in 1972; Specialist 5 Dennis M. Fujii, who, having survived a helicopter crash, directed airstrikes on advancing forces while under fire in Laos in 1971; and Staff Sgt. Edward N. Kaneshiro, who cleared a trench of enemy fighters using grenades and a rifle in 1967 and died a few months later in another battle.
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Spec 5 Dwight Birdwell