Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 28 April

There are six Medals awarded for actions on this day, one of them posthumous.  They are from two wars, three fights that occurred during the Indian Campaigns and World War II.

Indian Campaigns.  A very small skirmish, but one that looms large to the locals.

HEYL, CHARLES H.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at: Camden, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 26 October 1897. Citation: Voluntarily, and with most conspicuous gallantry, charged with 3 men upon 6 Indians who were entrenched upon a hillside.

LEONARD, PATRICK T.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 August 1876. Citation: Gallantry in charge on hostile Sioux.

LYTTON, JEPTHA L.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at:——. Birth: Lawrence County, Ind. Date of issue: 26 August 1876. Citation: Gallantry in charge on hostile Sioux.

World War II.  Private Minue charges machineguns, alone, bayonet fixed.  Private Ruiz, sans the bayonet, does pretty much the same thing, albeit with a happier outcome for himself.

*MINUE, NICHOLAS

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 6th Armored Infantry, 1st Armored Division. Place and date: Near MedjezelBab, Tunisia, 28 April 1943. Entered service at: Carteret, N.J. Birth: Sedden, Poland. G.O. No.: 24, 25 March 1944. Citation: For distinguishing himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the loss of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 28 April 1943, in the vicinity of MedjezelBab, Tunisia. When the advance of the assault elements of Company A was held up by flanking fire from an enemy machinegun nest, Pvt. Minue voluntarily, alone, and unhesitatingly, with complete disregard of his own welfare, charged the enemy entrenched position with fixed bayonet. Pvt. Minue assaulted the enemy under a withering machinegun and rifle fire, killing approximately 10 enemy machinegunners and riflemen. After completely destroying this position, Pvt. Minue continued forward, routing enemy riflemen from dugout positions until he was fatally wounded. The courage, fearlessness and aggressiveness displayed by Pvt. Minue in the face of inevitable death was unquestionably the factor that gave his company the offensive spirit that was necessary for advancing and driving the enemy from the entire sector.

RUIZ, ALEJANDRO R. RENTERIA

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division. Place and date: Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 28 April 1945. Entered service at: Carlsbad, N. Mex. Birth: Loving, N. Mex. G.O. No.: 60, 26 June 1946. Citation: When his unit was stopped by a skillfully camouflaged enemy pillbox, he displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. His squad, suddenly brought under a hail of machinegun fire and a vicious grenade attack, was pinned down. Jumping to his feet, Pfc. Ruiz seized an automatic rifle and lunged through the flying grenades and rifle and automatic fire for the top of the emplacement. When an enemy soldier charged him, his rifle jammed. Undaunted, Pfc. Ruiz whirled on his assailant and clubbed him down. Then he ran back through bullets and grenades, seized more ammunition and another automatic rifle, and again made for the pillbox. Enemy fire now was concentrated on him, but he charged on, miraculously reaching the position, and in plain view he climbed to the top. Leaping from 1 opening to another, he sent burst after burst into the pillbox, killing 12 of the enemy and completely destroying the position. Pfc. Ruiz’s heroic conduct, in the face of overwhelming odds, saved the lives of many comrades and eliminated an obstacle that long would have checked his unit’s advance.

And a new one, for Korea. ¬†Negron’s’ award was made in 2014, resulting from a review of awards for possibly having been downgraded due to racial prejudice. The abbreviated citation is not unusual with those awards.

NEGRON, JUAN E.

Then-Sgt. Juan E. Negron distinguished himself on April 28, 1951, for actions near Kalma-Eri, Korea. Negron held the most vulnerable position on his company’s exposed right flank after an enemy force had overrun a section of the line. He held the position throughout the night, accurately hurling hand grenades at short range when hostile troops approached his position.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

0

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 27 April

There are six Medals awarded for actions on this day, none of them posthumous. There are two naval lifesaving awards, one of which is a second award. The Medals span the Civil War, two Interim Award periods (which are exclusively naval lifesaving awards) and the Philippine Insurrection.

Civil War

BURRITT, WILLIAM W.

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 113th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Vicksburg, Miss., 27 April 1863. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Campbell, N.Y. Date of issue: 8 July 1896. Citation: Voluntarily acted as a fireman on a steam tug which ran the blockade and passed the batteries under a heavy fire.

Interim Awards, 1871-1898. Weisbogel is an interesting fella – he is a double-award winner, and both are naval lifesaving Medals, his first being earned on 11 January, 1874.

WEISBOGEL, ALBERT (SECOND AWARD)

Rank and organization: Captain of the Mizzen Top, U.S. Navy. Born: 1844, New Orleans, La. Accredited to: Louisiana. G.O. No.: 207, 23 March 1876; 212, 9 June 1876. Citation: For gallant conduct in jumping overboard from the U.S.S. Plymouth, at sea, and rescuing from drowning one of the crew of that vessel on 27 April 1876.

Philippine Insurrection. Watch out for that Kansas Infantry, especially that Funston fellow.

FUNSTON, FREDERICK

Rank and organization: Colonel, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Place and date: At Rio Grande de la Pampanga, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 27 April 1899. Entered service at: Iola, Kans. Birth: Springfield, Ohio. Date of issue: 14 February 1900. Citation: Crossed the river on a raft and by his skill and daring enabled the general commanding to carry the enemy’s entrenched position on the north bank of the river and to drive him with great loss from the important strategic position of Calumpit.

TREMBLEY, WILLIAM B.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Place and date: At Calumpit, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 27 April 1899. Entered service at: Kansas City, Kans. Birth: Johnson, Kans. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Swam the Rio Grande de Pampanga in face of the enemy’s fire and fastened a rope to the occupied trenches, thereby enabling the crossing of the river and the driving of the enemy from his fortified position.

WHITE, EDWARD

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. Place and date: At Calumpit, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 27 April 1899. Entered service at: Kansas City, Kans. Birth: Seneca, Kans. Date of issue: 11 March 1902. Citation: Swam the Rio Grande de Pampanga in face of the enemy’s fire and fastened a rope to occupied trenches, thereby enabling the crossing of the river and the driving of the enemy from his fortified position.

Interim Awards, 1901-1911

QUICK, JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Coxwain, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Yokohama, Japan, 27 April 1902. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York. G.O. No.: 93, 7 July 1902. Citation: For heroism in rescuing Walenty Wisnieroski, Machinist Second Class, from drowning at Yokohama, Japan, 27 April 1902, while serving on board the U.S.S. Yorktown.

0

Systemic racism

…looks a lot like just plain old elite contempt for the powerless. Which can be racist, surely. But it can also just be contempt for people with no money and no political power.

These government bureaucrats, planning boards, politicians, and wealthy business owners saw the East Street Valley residents as obstacles to progress. They stood in the way of allowing wealthier suburban commuters easy access to commerce.

Salena Zito on “Ancient and Lonely Urban Monuments.”

There is a fair enough argument to make that it is also elitism that is physically built into some of our highways, that dismissive contempt for working-class and low-income families of every color has always played a decisive role in infrastructure development and city planning. Because of that contempt, they could not stop the demolition of their communities, and lord knows they tried.

There is also an argument to be made that the seeds of our resentment we hold toward those cultural curators, such as the planning commissions that demolished the heartbeats of these neighborhoods, began when our parents and grandparents fought and lost the hard battles to save their communities. The division between insiders and outsiders continues to divide the nation.

+1

Doing a little laundry…

…and the wind makes it easy to dry the laundry. If you use hooks, not clothespins, anyway.
Around here, between dead legislators, first responders, and multiple tranches of covid casualties, Governor Schoolmarm has been suppressing full-staff flag flying since February.

My solution has been to not fly national flags.

Just historical flags.

Many of a Revolutionary bent, though today I am flying some flags of reactionary repression, that of the 69th NY Infantry and the HQs flag of the Army of the Potomac.

+1

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 26 April

There are nine Medals awarded for actions on this day, and this grouping has some interesting fillips scattered among them. They span the Civil War, Indian Campaigns, Philippine Insurrection, Korea and Vietnam. Three awards are posthumous.

Civil War. Cox’n Cooper earns his second award, the first being earned at Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864.

COOPER, JOHN (SECOND AWARD)

Citation: Served as quartermaster on Acting Rear Admiral Thatcher’s staff. During the terrific fire at Mobile, on 26 April 1865, at the risk of being blown to pieces by exploding shells, Cooper advanced through the burning locality, rescued a wounded man from certain death, and bore him on his back to a place of safety.

Indian Campaigns. Mr. Cody’s Medal was the subject of some controversy, finally settled in 1989.

CODY, WILLIAM F.

Rank: Civilian Scout. Born: Scott County, Iowa. Organization: 3rd Cavalry U.S. Army. Action date: 26 April 1872. Place: Platte River, Nebraska. Citation: Gallantry in action.

(In 1916, the general review of all Medals of Honor deemed 900 unwarranted. This recipient was one of them. In June 1989, the U.S. Army Board of Correction of Records restored the medal to this recipient.)

FOLEY, JOHN H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company B, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Loupe Fork, Platte River, Nebr., 26 April 1872. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 22 May 1872. Citation: Gallantry in action.

STRAYER, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Loupe Forke, Platte River, Nebr., 26 April 1872. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Maytown, Pa. Date of issue: 22 May 18721. Citation: Gallantry in action.

VOKES, LEROY H.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company B, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Loupe Fork, Platte River, Nebr., 26 April 1872. Entered service at:——. Birth: Lake County, Ill. Date of issue: 22 May 1872. Citation: Gallantry in action.

Philippine Insurrection

SHELTON, GEORGE M.

Rank and organization: Private, Company 1, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At La Paz, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 26 April 1900. Entered service at: Bellington, Tex. Birth: Brownwood, Tex. Date of issue: 10 March 1902. Citation: Advanced alone under heavy fire of the enemy and rescued a wounded comrade.

Korean War. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

*DUKE, RAY E.

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Mugok, Korea, 26 April 1951. Entered service at: Whitwell (Marion County), Tenn. Born: 9 May 1923, Whitwell, Tenn. G.O. No.: 20, 19 March 1954. Citation: Sfc. Duke, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Upon learning that several of his men were isolated and heavily engaged in an area yielded by his platoon when ordered to withdraw, he led a small force in a daring assault which recovered the position and the beleaguered men. Another enemy attack in strength resulted in numerous casualties but Sfc. Duke, although wounded by mortar fragments, calmly moved along his platoon line to coordinate fields of fire and to urge his men to hold firm in the bitter encounter. Wounded a second time he received first aid and returned to his position. When the enemy again attacked shortly after dawn, despite his wounds, Sfc. Duke repeatedly braved withering fire to insure maximum defense of each position. Threatened with annihilation and with mounting casualties, the platoon was again ordered to withdraw when Sfc. Duke was wounded a third time in both legs and was unable to walk. Realizing that he was impeding the progress of 2 comrades who were carrying him from the hill, he urged them to leave him and seek safety. He was last seen pouring devastating fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants. The consummate courage, superb leadership, and heroic actions of Sfc. Duke, displayed during intensive action against overwhelming odds, reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.

Vietnam War. Captain Estocin’s Medal action was clear, but questions surrounding his death or capture clouded things until 1993.

*ESTOCIN, MICHAEL J.

Rank and organization. Captain (then Lt. Cmdr.), U.S. Navy, Attack Squadron 192, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Place and date: Haiphong, North Vietnam, 20 and 26 April 1967. Entered service at: Akron Ohio, 2() July 1954. Born: 27 April 1931, Turtle Creek, Pa. Citation. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 20 and 26 April 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron 192, embarked in USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Leading a 3-plane group of aircraft in support of a coordinated strike against two thermal power plants in Haiphong, North Vietnam, on 20 April 1967, Capt. Estocin provided continuous warnings to the strike group leaders of the surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats, and personally neutralized 3 SAM sites. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding missile, he reentered the target area and relentlessly prosecuted a SHRIKE attack in the face of intense antiaircraft fire. With less than 5 minutes of fuel remaining he departed the target area and commenced in-flight refueling which continued for over 100 miles. Three miles aft of Ticonderoga, and without enough fuel for a second approach, he disengaged from the tanker and executed a precise approach to a fiery arrested landing. On 26 April 1967, in support of a coordinated strike against the vital fuel facilities in Haiphong, he led an attack on a threatening SAM site, during which his aircraft was seriously damaged by an exploding SAM; nevertheless, he regained control of his burning aircraft and courageously launched his SHRIKE missiles before departing the area. By his inspiring courage and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Captain Estocin upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

*LEE, MILTON A.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). place and date: Near Phu Bai, Thua Thien province, Republic of Vietnam, 26 April 1968. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Born: 28 February 1949, Shreveport, La. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Lee distinguished himself near the city of Phu Bai in the province of Thua Thien. Pfc. Lee was serving as the radio telephone operator with the 3d platoon, Company B. As lead element for the company, the 3d platoon received intense surprise hostile fire from a force of North Vietnamese Army regulars in well-concealed bunkers. With 50 percent casualties, the platoon maneuvered to a position of cover to treat their wounded and reorganize, while Pfc. Lee moved through the heavy enemy fire giving lifesaving first aid to his wounded comrades. During the subsequent assault on the enemy defensive positions, Pfc. Lee continuously kept close radio contact with the company commander, relaying precise and understandable orders to his platoon leader. While advancing with the front rank toward the objective, Pfc. Lee observed 4 North Vietnamese soldiers with automatic weapons and a rocket launcher Lying in wait for the lead element of the platoon. As the element moved forward, unaware of the concealed danger, Pfc. Lee immediately and with utter disregard for his own personal safety, passed his radio to another soldier and charged through the murderous fire. Without hesitation he continued his assault, overrunning the enemy position, killing all occupants and capturing 4 automatic weapons and a rocket launcher. Pfc. Lee continued his 1-man assault on the second position through a heavy barrage of enemy automatic weapons fire. Grievously wounded, he continued to press the attack, crawling forward into a firing position and delivering accurate covering fire to enable his platoon to maneuver and destroy the position. Not until the position was overrun did Pfc. Lee falter in his steady volume of fire and succumb to his wounds. Pfc. Lee’s heroic actions saved the lives of the lead element and were instrumental in the destruction of the key position of the enemy defense. Pfc. Lee’s gallantry at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, the 502d Infantry, and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

0

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 25 April

There are sixteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, two of them posthumous.  They span the Civil War, Indian Campaigns, World War II and Vietnam.

Civil War. Nine naval Medals actions during the assault on New Orleans, 1862.  Navy citation writers from this era are much more interesting and informative than their terse Army counterparts.

BRENNAN, CHRISTOPHER

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1832, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Mississippi during attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and during the taking of New Orleans, 24-25 April 1862. Taking part in the actions which resulted in the damaging of the Mississippi and several casualties on it, Brennan showed skill and courage throughout the entire engagements which resulted in the taking of St. Philip and Jackson and in the surrender of New Orleans.

BUCK, JAMES

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1808, Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Brooklyn in the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip and at the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Although severely wounded by a heavy splinter, Buck continued to perform his duty until positively ordered below. Later stealing back to his post, he steered the ship for 8 hours despite his critical condition. His bravery was typical of the type which resulted in the taking of the Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in the capture of New Orleans.

FLOOD, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Boy, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Pensacola in the attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and at the taking of new Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Swept from the bridge by a shell which wounded the signal quartermaster, Flood returned to the bridge after assisting the wounded man below and taking over his duties, “Performed them with coolness, exactitude and the fidelity of a veteran seaman. His intelligence and character cannot be spoken of too warmly.”

McLEOD, JAMES

Rank and organization: Captain of the Foretop, U.S. Navy. Born: Scotland. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of foretop, and a volunteer from the Colorado, McLeod served on board the U.S.S. Pensacola during the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Acting as gun captain of the rifled howitzer aft which was much exposed, he served this piece with great ability and activity, although no officer superintended it.

PARKER, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Captain of the Afterguard, U.S. Navy. Birth: Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: At the wheel on board the U.S.S. Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson, and New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern, Parker conscientiously performed his duties throughout the action in which attempts by 3 rebel steamers to butt and board were thwarted, and the ships driven off. Eleven gunboats were successfully engaged and the enemy garrisons forced to surrender during this battle in which the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

RICHARDS, LOUIS

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1835, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Richards served as quartermaster on board the U.S.S. Pensacola in the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and at the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. Through all the din and roar of battle, he steered the ship through the narrow opening of the barricade, and his attention to orders contributed to the successful passage of the ship without once fouling the shore or the obstacles of the barricade.

SHUTES, HENRY

Rank and organization: Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Born: 1804, Baltimore, Md. Accredited to: Maryland. G.O. No.: 71, 15 January 1866. Citation: Served as captain of the forecastle on board the U.S.S. Wissahickon during the battle of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862; and in the engagement at Fort McAllister, 27 February 1863. Going on board the U.S.S. Wissahickon from the U.S.S. Don where his seamanlike qualities as gunner’s mate were outstanding, Shutes performed his duties with skill and courage. Showing a presence of mind and prompt action when a shot from Fort McAllister penetrated the Wissahickon below the water line and entered the powder magazine, Shutes contributed materially to the preservation of the powder and safety of the ship.

WRIGHT, EDWARD

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1829, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern Wright conscientiously performed his duties throughout the action in which attempts by 3 rebel steamers to butt and board were repelled, and the ships driven off or forced to surrender. Eleven gunboats were successfully engaged and the enemy garrisons captured during this battle in which the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

YOUNG, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. navy. Born: 1835, New York. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern, Young calmly manned a Parrot gun throughout the action in which attempts by three rebel steamers to butt and board were thwarted and the ships driven off or captured, 11 gunboats were successfully engaged and garrisons forced to surrender. During the battle, the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

Indian Campaigns.  Put aside Judge Roy Bean, because for a while, these men were the Law along the Pecos.

FACTOR, POMPEY

Rank and organization: Private, Indian Scouts. Place and date: At Pecos River, Tex., 25 April 1875. Entered service at:——. Birth: Arkansas. Date of issue: 28 May 1875. Citation: With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

PAYNE, ISAAC

Rank and organization: Trumpeter, Indian Scouts. Place and date: At Pecos River, Tex., 25 April 1875. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Mexico. Date of issue: 28 May 1875. Citation: With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

WARD, JOHN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, 24th U.S. Infantry Indian Scouts Place and date: At Pecos River, Tex., 25 April 1875. Entered service at. Fort Duncan, Tex. Birth: Arkansas. Date of issue: 28 May 1875. Citation. With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

World War II.

*GONZALES, DAVID M.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 25 April 1945. Entered service at: Pacoima, Calif. Birth: Pacoima, Calif. G.O. No.: 115, 8 December 1945. Citation: He was pinned down with his company. As enemy fire swept the area, making any movement extremely hazardous, a 500-pound bomb smashed into the company’s perimeter, burying 5 men with its explosion. Pfc. Gonzales, without hesitation, seized an entrenching tool and under a hail of fire crawled 15 yards to his entombed comrades, where his commanding officer, who had also rushed forward, was beginning to dig the men out. Nearing his goal, he saw the officer struck and instantly killed by machinegun fire. Undismayed, he set to work swiftly and surely with his hands and the entrenching tool while enemy sniper and machinegun bullets struck all about him. He succeeded in digging one of the men out of the pile of rock and sand. To dig faster he stood up regardless of the greater danger from so exposing himself. He extricated a second man, and then another. As he completed the liberation of the third, he was hit and mortally wounded, but the comrades for whom he so gallantly gave his life were safely evacuated. Pfc. Gonzales’ valiant and intrepid conduct exemplifies the highest tradition of the military service.

*KNIGHT, RAYMOND L. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: In Northern Po Valley, Italy, 24-25 April 1945. Entered service at: Houston, Tex. Birth: Texas. G.O. No.: 81, 24 September 1945. Citation: He piloted a fighter-bomber aircraft in a series of low-level strafing missions, destroying 14 grounded enemy aircraft and leading attacks which wrecked 10 others during a critical period of the Allied drive in northern Italy. On the morning of 24 April, he volunteered to lead 2 other aircraft against the strongly defended enemy airdrome at Ghedi. Ordering his fellow pilots to remain aloft, he skimmed the ground through a deadly curtain of antiaircraft fire to reconnoiter the field, locating 8 German aircraft hidden beneath heavy camouflage. He rejoined his flight, briefed them by radio, and then led them with consummate skill through the hail of enemy fire in a low-level attack, destroying 5 aircraft, while his flight accounted for 2 others. Returning to his base, he volunteered to lead 3 other aircraft in reconnaissance of Bergamo airfield, an enemy base near Ghedi and 1 known to be equally well defended. Again ordering his flight to remain out of range of antiaircraft fire, 1st Lt. Knight flew through an exceptionally intense barrage, which heavily damaged his Thunderbolt, to observe the field at minimum altitude. He discovered a squadron of enemy aircraft under heavy camouflage and led his flight to the assault. Returning alone after this strafing, he made 10 deliberate passes against the field despite being hit by antiaircraft fire twice more, destroying 6 fully loaded enemy twin-engine aircraft and 2 fighters. His skillfully led attack enabled his flight to destroy 4 other twin-engine aircraft and a fighter plane. He then returned to his base in his seriously damaged plane. Early the next morning, when he again attacked Bergamo, he sighted an enemy plane on the runway. Again he led 3 other American pilots in a blistering low-level sweep through vicious antiaircraft fire that damaged his plane so severely that it was virtually nonflyable. Three of the few remaining enemy twin-engine aircraft at that base were destroyed. Realizing the critical need for aircraft in his unit, he declined to parachute to safety over friendly territory and unhesitatingly attempted to return his shattered plane to his home field. With great skill and strength, he flew homeward until caught by treacherous air conditions in the Appennines Mountains, where he crashed and was killed. The gallant action of 1st Lt. Knight eliminated the German aircraft which were poised to wreak havoc on Allied forces pressing to establish the first firm bridgehead across the Po River; his fearless daring and voluntary self-sacrifice averted possible heavy casualties among ground forces and the resultant slowing on the German drive culminated in the collapse of enemy resistance in Italy.

Vietnam

SPRAYBERRY, JAMES M .

Rank and organization: Captain (then 1st Lt.), U.S. Army, Company D, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry , 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1968. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 24 April 1947, LaGrange, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Sprayberry, Armor, U.S. Army, distinguished himself by exceptional bravery while serving as executive officer of Company D. His company commander and a great number of the men were wounded and separated from the main body of the company. A daylight attempt to rescue them was driven back by the well entrenched enemy’s heavy fire. Capt. Sprayberry then organized and led a volunteer night patrol to eliminate the intervening enemy bunkers and to relieve the surrounded element. The patrol soon began receiving enemy machinegun fire. Capt. Sprayberry quickly moved the men to protective cover and without regard for his own safety, crawled within close range of the bunker from which the fire was coming. He silenced the machinegun with a hand grenade. Identifying several l-man enemy positions nearby, Capt. Sprayberry immediately attacked them with the rest of his grenades. He crawled back for more grenades and when 2 grenades were thrown at his men from a position to the front, Capt. Sprayberry, without hesitation, again exposed himself and charged the enemy-held bunker killing its occupants with a grenade. Placing 2 men to cover his advance, he crawled forward and neutralized 3 more bunkers with grenades. Immediately thereafter, Capt. Sprayberry was surprised by an enemy soldier who charged from a concealed position. He killed the soldier with his pistol and with continuing disregard for the danger neutralized another enemy emplacement. Capt. Sprayberry then established radio contact with the isolated men, directing them toward his position. When the 2 elements made contact he organized his men into litter parties to evacuate the wounded. As the evacuation was nearing completion, he observed an enemy machinegun position which he silenced with a grenade. Capt. Sprayberry returned to the rescue party, established security, and moved to friendly lines with the wounded. This rescue operation, which lasted approximately 71/2 hours, saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. Capt. Sprayberry personally killed 12 enemy soldiers, eliminated 2 machineguns, and destroyed numerous enemy bunkers. Capt. Sprayberry’s indomitable spirit and gallant action at great personal risk to his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

STUMPF, KENNETH E.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sp4c.), U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1967. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 28 September 1944, Neenah, Wis. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Stumpf distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader of the 3d Platoon, Company C, on a search and destroy mission. As S/Sgt. Stumpf’s company approached a village, it encountered a North Vietnamese rifle company occupying a well fortified bunker complex. During the initial contact, 3 men from his squad fell wounded in front of a hostile machinegun emplacement. The enemy’s heavy volume of fire prevented the unit from moving to the aid of the injured men, but S/Sgt. Stumpf left his secure position in a deep trench and ran through the barrage of incoming rounds to reach his wounded comrades. He picked up 1 of the men and carried him back to the safety of the trench. Twice more S/Sgt. Stumpf dashed forward while the enemy turned automatic weapons and machineguns upon him, yet he managed to rescue the remaining 2 wounded squad members. He then organized his squad and led an assault against several enemy bunkers from which continuously heavy fire was being received He and his squad successfully eliminated 2 of the bunker positions, but one to the front of the advancing platoon remained a serious threat. Arming himself with extra hand grenades, S/Sgt. Stumpf ran over open ground, through a volley of fire directed at him by a determined enemy, toward the machinegun position. As he reached the bunker, he threw a hand grenade through the aperture. It was immediately returned by the occupants, forcing S/Sgt. Stumpf to take cover. Undaunted, he pulled the pins on 2 more grenades, held them for a few seconds after activation, then hurled them into the position, this time successfully destroying the emplacement. With the elimination of this key position, his unit was able to assault and overrun the enemy. S/Sgt. Stumpf’s relentless spirit of aggressiveness, intrepidity, and ultimate concern for the lives of his men, are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

0