Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 20 May

There are six Medals awarded for actions this day, three of them posthumous. The Civil War Medal has a more evocative citation than most, and our three posthumous awards are all about the same thing. Your buddies.

BEAUFORT, Jean J RANK: CORPORAL UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY A, 2D LOUISIANA INFANTRY DATE: MAY 20, 1863 PLACE: PORT HUDSON, LOUISIANA, USA
CITATION: Volunteered to go within the enemy’s lines and at the head of a party of eight destroyed a signal station, thereby greatly aiding in the operations against Port Hudson that immediately followed.

Indian Campaigns

STANCE, Emanuel RANK: SERGEANT (HIGHEST RANK: FIRST SERGEANT) UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY F, 9TH U.S. CAVALRY DATE: MAY 20, 1870 PLACE: KICKAPOO SPRINGS, TEXAS, USA
CITATION: Gallantry on scout after Indians.

Interim Awards, 1920-1940 One of the non-standard Medals, many of which were later revoked, “Lucky” Lindy’s survived that scrutiny.

LINDBERGH JR., Charles A RANK: CAPTAIN (HIGHEST RANK: BRIGADIER GENERAL) DATE: MAY 20 – 21, 1927 PLACE: FROM NEW YORK CITY, NY, TO PARIS, FRANCE, ATLANTIC OCEAN, USA TO FRANCE
CITATION: For displaying heroic courage and skill as a navigator, at the risk of his life, by his nonstop flight in his airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, from New York City to Paris, France, 20-21 May 1927, by which Capt. Lindbergh not only achieved the greatest individual triumph of any American citizen but demonstrated that travel across the ocean by aircraft was possible.

Korean War It’s all about the Band of Brotherhood.

*MOYER, Donald R RANK: SERGEANT FIRST CLASS UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY E, 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION DATE: MAY 20, 1951 PLACE: NEAR SEOUL, KOREA
CITATION: Sfc. Moyer, assistant platoon leader, Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. Sfc. Moyer’s platoon was committed to attack and secure commanding terrain stubbornly defended by a numerically superior hostile force emplaced in well-fortified positions. Advancing up the rocky hill, the leading elements came under intense automatic-weapons, small-arms, and grenade fire, wounding the platoon leader and platoon sergeant. Sfc. Moyer, realizing the success of the mission was imperiled, rushed to the head of the faltering column, assumed command, and urged the men forward. Inspired by Sfc. Moyer’s unflinching courage, the troops responded magnificently, but as they reached the final approaches to the rugged crest of the hill, enemy fire increased in volume and intensity and the fanatical foe showered the platoon with grenades. Undaunted, the valiant group forged ahead, and as they neared the top of the hill, the enemy hurled a grenade into their midst. Sfc. Moyer, fully aware of the odds against him, unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion with his body. Although mortally wounded in this fearless display of valor, Sfc. Moyer’s intrepid act saved several of his comrades from death or serious injury, and his inspirational leadership and consummate devotion to duty contributed significantly to the subsequent seizure of the enemy stronghold and reflect lasting glory on himself and the noble traditions of the military service.

Vietnam Two hard men, in the same fight, who, while fighting hard and furiously, both ended up jumping on grenades to save their buddies. Not Mom, not Apple Pie, and certainly not Uncle Sam. Their buddies.

*BELLRICHARD, Leslie A RANK: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY C, 1ST BATTALION, 8TH INFANTRY, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION DATE: MAY 20, 1967 PLACE: PLEIKU PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Acting as a fire-team leader with Company C during combat operations Pfc. Bellrichard was with four fellow soldiers in a foxhole on their unit’s perimeter when the position came under a massive enemy attack. Following a 30-minute mortar barrage, the enemy launched a strong ground assault. Pfc. Bellrichard rose in face of a group of charging enemy soldiers and threw hand grenades into their midst, eliminating several of the foe and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Failing in their initial attack, the enemy repeated the mortar and rocket bombardment of the friendly perimeter, then once again charged against the defenders in a concerted effort to overrun the position. Pfc. Bellrichard resumed throwing hand grenades at the onrushing attackers. As he was about to hurl a grenade, a mortar round exploded just in front of his position, knocking him into the foxhole and causing him to lose his grip on the already armed grenade. Recovering instantly, Pfc. Bellrichard recognized the threat to the lives of his four comrades and threw himself upon the grenade, shielding his companions from the blast that followed. Although seriously wounded, Pfc. Bellrichard struggled into an upright position in the foxhole and fired his rifle at the enemy until he succumbed to his wounds. His selfless heroism contributed greatly to the successful defense of the position, and he was directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

*MOLNAR, Frankie Z RANK: STAFF SERGEANT UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY B, 1ST BATTALION, 8TH INFANTRY, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION DATE: MAY 20, 1967 PLACE: PLEIKU PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Molnar distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B, during combat operations. Shortly after the battalion’s defensive perimeter was established, it was hit by intense mortar fire as the prelude to a massive enemy night attack. S/Sgt. Molnar immediately left his sheltered location to insure the readiness of his squad to meet the attack. As he crawled through the position, he discovered a group of enemy soldiers closing in on his squad area. His accurate rifle fire killed five of the enemy and forced the remainder to flee. When the mortar fire stopped, the enemy attacked in a human wave supported by grenades, rockets, automatic-weapons, and small-arms fire. After assisting to repel the first enemy assault, S/Sgt. Molnar found that his squad’s ammunition and grenade supply were nearly expended. Again leaving the relative safety of his position, he crawled through intense enemy fire to secure additional ammunition and distribute it to his squad. He rejoined his men to beat back the renewed enemy onslaught, and he moved about his area providing medical aid and assisting in the evacuation of the wounded. With the help of several men, he was preparing to move a severely wounded soldier when an enemy hand grenade was thrown into the group. The first to see the grenade, S/Sgt. Molnar threw himself on it and absorbed the deadly blast to save his comrades. His demonstrated selflessness and inspirational leadership on the battlefield were a major factor in the successful defense of the American position and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army. S/Sgt. Molnar’s actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates a posthumous award.

Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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