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Melvin Biddle -- Belgium, Christsmas Eve '44

Melvin Biddle -- Belgium, Christsmas Eve '44

He then located the approximate position of a well-concealed enemy machinegun nest, and crawling forward threw hand grenades which killed two Germans and fatally wounded a third. After signaling his company to advance, he entered a determined line of enemy defense, coolly and deliberately shifted his position, and shot 3 more enemy soldiers. Undaunted by enemy fire, he crawled within 20 yards of a machinegun nest, tossed his last hand grenade into the position, and after the explosion charged the emplacement firing his rifle. When night fell, he scouted enemy positions alone for several hours and returned with valuable information which enabled our attacking infantry and armor to knock out 2 enemy tanks. At daybreak he again led the advance and, when flanking elements were pinned down by enemy fire, without hesitation made his way toward a hostile machinegun position and from a distance of 50 yards killed the crew and 2 supporting riflemen. The remainder of the enemy, finding themselves without automatic weapon support, fled panic stricken. Pfc. Biddle's intrepid courage and superb daring during his 20-hour action enabled his battalion to break the enemy grasp on Hotton with a minimum of casualties.


Gary Beikirch

Gary Beikirch

Sgt. Beikirch, with complete disregard for his personal safety, moved unhesitatingly through the withering enemy fire to his fallen comrades, applied first aid to their wounds and assisted them to the medical aid station. When informed that a seriously injured American officer was lying in an exposed position, Sgt. Beikirch ran immediately through the hail of fire. Although he was wounded seriously by fragments from an exploding enemy mortar shell, Sgt. Beikirch carried the officer to a medical aid station. Ignoring his own serious injuries, Sgt. Beikirch left the relative safety of the medical bunker to search for and evacuate other men who had been injured. He was again wounded as he dragged a critically injured Vietnamese soldier to the medical bunker while simultaneously applying mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to sustain his life. Sgt. Beikirch again refused treatment and continued his search for other casualties until he collapsed. Only then did he permit himself to be treated.


Mike Thornton -- SEAL

Mike Thornton -- SEAL

Thornton, an assistant U.S. Navy advisor, along with a U.S. Navy lieutenant serving as senior advisor, accompanied a three-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, Petty Officer Thornton returned through a hail of fire to the lieutenant's last position, quickly disposed of two 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 life jacket and towed him seaward for approximately two hours until picked up by support craft. By his extraordinary courage and perseverance, Petty Officer 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 United States Naval Service


James Taylor -- Vienam

James Taylor -- Vienam

One of Taylor's armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit immediately by recoilless rifle fire and all 5 crewmembers were wounded. Aware that the stricken vehicle was in grave danger of exploding, Capt. Taylor rushed forward and personally extracted the wounded to safety despite the hail of enemy fire and exploding ammunition. Within minutes a second armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit by multiple recoilless rifle rounds. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire, Capt. Taylor moved forward on foot to rescue the wounded men from the burning vehicle and personally removed all the crewmen to the safety of a nearby dike. Moments later the vehicle exploded. As he was returning to his vehicle, a bursting mortar round painfully wounded Capt. Taylor, yet he valiantly returned to his vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation landing zone to an area closer to the front lines. As he was moving his vehicle, it came under machinegun fire from an enemy position not 50 yards away. Capt. Taylor engaged the position with his machinegun, killing the 3-man crew. Upon arrival at the new evacuation site, still another vehicle was struck. Once again Capt. Taylor rushed forward and pulled the wounded from the vehicle, loaded them aboard his vehicle, and returned them safely to the evacuation site. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire troop, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers.


"Bayonet" Lew MilletT

"Bayonet" Lew MilletT

One of Millett’s platoons was pinned down by automatic weapons fire; he brought up another platoon for support. A few weeks earlier, he had heard that the Chinese Army was circulating handbills among their troops accusing the Americans of being “afraid of cold steel”—the bayonet—so he had trained his men hard in the use of that weapon. Now, with the Communists raking his position with small arms fire and his men running low on ammunition, he ordered them to fix bayonets and led a charge up the hill.

A conspicuous figure at the head of his company with his large red handlebar mustache, Millett reached the enemy trench line and bayoneted two enemy soldiers. Then, using his rifle as a club against the others, he forced the Chinese to break and run. He was wounded by grenade fragments but refused evacuation until the position was secured. Later, he explained that he engaged in this action as an homage to his grandfathers, both of whom had fought in the Civil War and had participated in bayonet charges.


Wes Fox -- Marine Rifleman

Wes Fox -- Marine Rifleman

Around noon the next day, Fox’s company, understrength with only ninety men and lacking a mortar platoon, located a large force of well-concealed North Vietnamese regulars behind strong defensive positions. Fox quickly made a plan “to go right at them.” As he was getting ready, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded nearby, its shrapnel hitting him in the shoulder. Though bleeding heavily, he moved forward through heavy machine-gun fire. As he studied the battlefield, a sniper firing from a tree killed one of his Marines, then shot at Fox but missed. Fox picked up the fallen American’s rifle and killed the sniper before he could fire again.
Realizing that if he tried to break contact with the enemy, he would expose his men, Fox committed his reserve platoon to support the company’s two assault platoons in a do-or-die maneuver. As he gave directions to his reserve platoon commander, a mortar round exploded, wounding Fox and seriously injuring the platoon commander. Fox then directed his executive officer to take the reserve platoon forward. Within five minutes, the executive officer was killed by machine-gun fire. With all company officers now dead or wounded, Fox continued to direct his Marines as they neutralized the enemy force.
The afternoon was dark and overcast, preventing Fox from calling in air support, but when the clouds parted briefly, two planes were able to take out one of the machine guns blocking Fox’s advance. Finally, the North Vietnamese troops began to pull back. Refusing medical aid himself, Fox established a defensive position and prepared his casualties for evacuation. Eleven of his men were killed in action, and fifty-eight were wounded. One hundred five enemy dead were counted.


Al Rascone--Medic

Al Rascone--Medic

Rascon was assigned as a medic to a Reconnaissance Platoon of the 173d Airborne Brigade. The platoon's mission was to reinforce a sister battalion which was under intense enemy attack near Long Khanh Province. The Reconnaissance Platoon came under heavy fire from a numerically superior enemy force. Several point squad soldiers were wounded and Specialist Rascon made his way forward to aid his fallen comrades. In more than one occasion Rascon exposed himself to enemy fire and grenades by covering the bodies of those whom he was aiding and absorbing the blast and fragments of the grenades with his own body. Each time he would drag his comrades to safety and crawled back to aid someone else. Rascon was so badly wounded that day that he was given his last rites.


Don and Mike... and Vince

Don and Mike... and Vince


Dix with Cliff and Taylor

Dix with Cliff and Taylor

S/Sgt. Dix, with a patrol of Vietnamese soldiers, was recalled to assist in the defense of Chau Phu. Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, S/Sgt. Dix organized a relief force, successfully rescued the nurse, and returned her to the safety of the Tactical Operations Center. Being informed of other trapped civilians within the city, S/Sgt. Dix voluntarily led another force to rescue 8 civilian employees located in a building which was under heavy mortar and small-arms fire. S/Sgt. Dix then returned to the center of the city. Upon approaching a building, he was subjected to intense automatic rifle and machinegun fire from an unknown number of Viet Cong. He personally assaulted the building, killing 6 Viet Cong, and rescuing 2 Filipinos. The following day S/Sgt. Dix, still on his own volition, assembled a 20-man force and though under intense enemy fire cleared the Viet Cong out of the hotel, theater, and other adjacent buildings within the city. During this portion of the attack, Army Republic of Vietnam soldiers inspired by the heroism and success of S/Sgt. Dix, rallied and commenced firing upon the Viet Cong. S/Sgt. Dix captured 20 prisoners, including a high ranking Viet Cong official. He then attacked enemy troops who had entered the residence of the Deputy Province Chief and was successful in rescuing the official's wife and children. S/Sgt. Dix's personal heroic actions resulted in 14 confirmed Viet Cong killed in action and possibly 25 more, the capture of 20 prisoners, 15 weapons, and the rescue of the 14 United States and free world civilians. The heroism of S/Sgt. Dix was in the highest tradition and reflects great credit upon the U.S. Army.


Receipients L-R: Hayashi, Bob Patterson, Ron Rosser & Howard

Receipients L-R: Hayashi, Bob Patterson, Ron Rosser & Howard


Gerald Blankenship, McNerney & Cliff

Gerald Blankenship, McNerney & Cliff


Bernie and Cliff

Bernie and Cliff


The gang with favorite bar keep

The gang with favorite bar keep


Bruce Crandall... Ia Drang Valley Savior

Bruce Crandall... Ia Drang Valley Savior

1965 -- As Major Crandall and the first eight helicopters landed to discharge troops on his fifth troop lift, his unarmed helicopter came under such intense enemy fire that the ground commander ordered the second flight of eight aircraft to abort their mission. As Major Crandall flew back to Plei Me, his base of operations, he determined that the ground commander of the besieged infantry batallion desperately needed more ammunition. Major Crandall then decided to adjust his base of operations to Artillery Firebase Falcon in order to shorten the flight distance to deliver ammunition and evacuate wounded soldiers. While medical evacuation was not his mission, he immediately sought volunteers and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, led the two aircraft to Landing Zone X-Ray. Despite the fact that the landing zone was still under relentless enemy fire, Major Crandall landed and proceeded to supervise the loading of seriously wounded soldiers aboard his aircraft. Major Crandall's voluntary decision to land under the most extreme fire instilled in the other pilots the will and spirit to continue to land their own aircraft, and in the ground forces the realization that they would be resupplied and that friendly wounded would be promptly evacuated. This greatly enhanced morale and the will to fight at a critical time. After his first medical evacuation, Major Crandall continued to fly into and out of the landing zone throughout the day and into the evening. That day he completed a total of 22 flights, most under intense enemy fire, retiring from the battlefield only after all possible service had been rendered to the Infantry battalion. His actions provided critical resupply of ammunition and evacuation of the wounded. Major Crandall's daring acts of bravery and courage in the face of an overwhelming and determined enemy are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


Imposter

Imposter

You might find it hard to believe, but military imposrters, claiming to be recipients of medal for valor... including the MOH... even show up as gathering of the Medal of Honor Society.

One such slug by the name of "Karczewski" showed up at one of the public gatherings in Green Bay lasty fall and began to talk about his CIB and master jump wings (see photo). His story aroused the suspicions of those nearby including Recipient Al Rascone who began to question him closely.
In minutes his story unraveled and he was "encouraged" by FBI agents who informed him that his claims were in violation of federal law, he took the advice to surrender the jacket and disappear.


Crandall and Cliff

Crandall and Cliff


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