Archive for the ‘Meddal of Honor’ Category

…a great read.

Soldiers recall Vietnam firefight that led to posthumous MoH for Cpl.

PHILADELPHIA — It was called a “fortress in the clouds.”

The 21st Regiment of the Second Division of the North Vietnamese Army had carved a stronghold into the steep slopes of Nui Chom, a mountain with rugged peaks covered by a towering jungle canopy that blocked the sky. There, the NVA had dug 250 machine-gun bunkers to defend a secret field hospital.

On Nov. 20, 1968, Michael J. Crescenz of Philadelphia walked into an ambush on Nui Chom. His squad was pinned down when he made a snap decision to grab an M60 machine gun and charge the bunkers. He took out three, killing six enemy soldiers who may have been dumbstruck in their last seconds to see a lone American running into their fusillade of bullets.

As he charged a fourth bunker, Crescenz, 19, was killed.

via Soldiers recall Vietnam firefight that led to posthumous MoH for Cpl. | Army Times | armytimes.com.

…is well worth your time.

11 Facts About Medal of Honor Recipient Clinton Romesha

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
January 17, 2013 3:59 pm

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha (ROE-muh-shay), 31, will receive the Medal of Honor next month for heroic actions during the day-long attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.

More than 300 Taliban attacked Keating early in the morning of Oct. 3, 2009, from all four sides and from higher ground. Armed with recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, machine guns, and rifles, the Taliban swarmed the site, occupied by only 53 Americans and two Latvians. A score of Afghans stationed there had abandoned the site. Mortars hit Keating every 15 seconds during the first three hours of the attack. Taliban breached the site and destroyed 70 percent of Keating with a fire.

More

…at the age of 88.

H/T Ace of Spades.

Rest in peace sir.

He was a highly decorated WWII veteran. His Senate career started in 1963.

His Medal of Honor citation:

Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

He loved America.

…Dakota Meyer has a new book out that goes after the Army brass for their failure during the battle at Ganjgal in Kunar Province, Afghanistan where he fought and was eventually awarded the MOH for his actions.

There is a US Army Captain, Will Swenson that was there and was submitted for a MOH for his actions that day as well, but the Army in their typical handling of paperwork seems to have lost the packet.

I am pissed off that the Army hasn’t done more to correct a horrible injustice and am not surprised that the actions of a couple morons in the TOC out of 10th Mountain’s 1-32 Infantry screwed the pooch on this. An over zealous captain adhering to a moronic ROE is likely the issue with them not getting the artillery support that they so badly needed. I wasn’t there, but 20 years in the Army and some of that in a TOC environment, can sure make for some educated guesses.

The inaction of a couple officers, and I dare say some NCOs that were in all likelihood there in the TOC may well have cost the lives of a some Marines. This in my mind is shameful and an absolute embarrassment for the Army. I thought 10th Mountain was better than that.

At any rate, go read this, it’s important to know what went on at this battle, the good and the bad.

Dakota Meyer blasts Army brass in new book
By Dan Lamothe – Staff writer

WEST MILFORD, N.J. — During one of the Afghan war’s ugliest battles, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer was nearly taken prisoner at gunpoint but fended off his would-be captor by beating him to death with a baseball-sized rock, according to the Marine’s forthcoming book.

That is among several revelations in “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.” It chronicles the disastrous Sept. 8, 2009, battle in Ganjgal, a mountainside village in Kunar province where U.S. Marines and soldiers, and their Afghan counterparts, were pinned down under fire for hours. The book, due to be released Sept. 25, is co-authored by Meyer and Bing West, a best-selling writer and former Marine infantryman.

Throughout the book, Meyer, a sergeant in the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve, takes aim at several targets — especially the Army officers he blames for allowing members of his team to die that day. He describes perceived flaws in the mission’s planning, outlines how officers at a nearby base refused to send help and questions why an Army captain who fought alongside him, Will Swenson, still hasn’t received any valor award despite being recommended for the Medal of Honor nearly three years ago.

More

President Barack Obama will award Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry during the Vietnam War. Thanks for your gallant service SPC Sabo, and RIP sir. This took way too long to do.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 16, 2012

President Obama to Award Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON, DC—On May 16, President Barack Obama will award Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

Specialist Sabo will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in combat on May 10, 1970, while serving as a rifleman in Company D, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Se San, Cambodia.

On that day, when he and his platoon were ambushed by a large enemy force, Specialist Sabo immediately charged the enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers. He then assaulted an enemy flanking force, successfully drawing their fire away from friendly soldiers and ultimately forcing the enemy to retreat. While securing a re-supply of ammunition, an enemy grenade landed nearby. Specialist Sabo picked it up, threw it, and shielded a wounded comrade with his own body – absorbing the brunt of the blast and saving his comrade’s life. Although wounded by the grenade blast, he continued to charge the enemy’s bunker. After receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker. The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Specialist Sabo’s life. His indomitable courage and complete disregard for his own safety saved the lives of many of his platoon members.

Specialist Sabo’s widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown and his brother, George Sabo, will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service and sacrifice.

Here’s the story from the Army News Service:

Army News Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2011 – An Army Ranger who lost his right hand and suffered shrapnel wounds after throwing an armed grenade away from his fellow soldiers will be the second living Medal of Honor recipient from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On July 12, President Barack Obama will present the nation’s highest award for battlefield gallantry to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry for his actions during May 26, 2008, combat operations against an armed enemy in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

Petry now serves as part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.

“It’s very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day to nominate me for that,” said Petry, on learning he had been nominated for the medal.

At the time of his actions in Afghanistan, Petry was assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. His actions came as part of a rare daylight raid to capture a high-value target.

Petry was to locate himself with the platoon headquarters in the targeted building once it was secured. Once there, he was to serve as the senior noncommissioned officer at the site for the remainder of the operation.

Recognizing one of the assault squads needed help clearing their assigned building, Petry relayed to the platoon leader that he was moving to that squad to provide additional supervision and guidance. Once the residential portion of the building had been cleared, Petry took a fellow member of the assault squad, Pfc. Lucas Robinson, to clear the outer courtyard. Petry knew that area had not been cleared during the initial clearance.

Petry and Robinson, both Rangers, moved into an area of the compound that contained at least three enemy fighters who were prepared to engage friendly forces from opposite ends of the outer courtyard.

As the two soldiers entered the courtyard, to their front was an opening, followed by a chicken coop. As they crossed the open area, an enemy insurgent fired on them. Petry was wounded by one round, which went through both of his legs. Robinson was also hit in his side plate by a separate round.

While wounded and under enemy fire, Petry led Robinson to the cover of the chicken coop as the enemy fighters continued to fire at them.

As the senior soldier, Petry assessed the situation. He reported that contact was made and that two wounded Rangers were in the courtyard of the primary target building. Upon hearing the report, Sgt. Daniel Higgins, a team leader, moved to the outer courtyard.

As Higgins was moving to Petry and Robinson’s position, Petry threw a thermobaric grenade near the enemy position. Shortly after that grenade exploded and created a lull in the enemy fire, Higgins arrived at the chicken coop and was assessing his comrades’ wounds when an insurgent threw a grenade over the chicken coop at the three Rangers. The grenade landed about 10 yards from the soldiers, knocking them to the ground and wounding Higgins and Robinson.

Shortly after the grenade exploded, Staff Sgt. James Roberts and Spc. Christopher Gathercole entered the courtyard and moved toward the chicken coop.

With three soldiers taking cover in the chicken coop, an enemy fighter threw another grenade at them. This time, the grenade landed just a few feet from Higgins and Robinson. Recognizing the threat that the enemy grenade posed to his fellow Rangers, Petry — despite his own wounds and with complete disregard for his personal safety — consciously and deliberately risked his life to move to and secure the live enemy grenade and throw it away from his fellow Rangers, according to battlefield reports.

As Petry released the grenade in the direction of the enemy, preventing the serious injury or death of Higgins and Robinson, it detonated and amputated his right hand.

Petry assessed his wound and placed a tourniquet on his right arm. He then reported that he was still in contact with the enemy and that he had been wounded again.

After the blast that amputated Petry’s hand, Roberts began to engage the enemy behind the chicken coop with small-arms fire and a grenade. His actions suppressed the insurgents behind the chicken coop. Shortly after, another enemy fighter on the east end of the courtyard began firing, fatally wounding Gathercole.

Higgins and Robinson returned fire and killed the enemy.

Moments later, Sgt. 1st Class Jerod Staidle, the platoon sergeant, and Spc. Gary Depriest, the platoon medic, arrived in the outer courtyard. After directing Depriest to treat Gathercole, Staidle moved to Petry’s position. Staidle and Higgins then assisted Petry as he moved to the casualty collection point.

Higgins later wrote in a statement, “If not for Staff Sergeant Petry’s actions, we would have been seriously wounded or killed.”

Petry is the ninth servicemember to have been named a recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. All but Petry and Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta were awarded the honor posthumously.

Army Spc. Ross A. McGinnis, Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor and Marine Corps Cpl. Jason L. Dunham all received the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq. Giunta, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti and Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan.

Petry currently serves as a liaison officer for the U.S. Special Operations Command Care Coalition Northwest Region, and provides oversight to wounded warriors, ill and injured servicemembers and their families.

He enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Santa Fe, N.M., in September 1999. After completion of One Station Unit Training, the Basic Airborne Course and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program — all at Fort Benning — he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

Petry has served as a grenadier, squad automatic rifleman, fire team leader, squad leader, operations sergeant and weapons squad leader. He has deployed eight times, with two tours to Iraq and six tours to Afghanistan.

Petry and his wife, Ashley, have four children: Brittany, Austin, Reagan and Landon.

This is welcome news. This will be only the second award to a living recipient for this, the Longest War, which in my mind is a disservice to all the soldiers that have definitely deserved it.

Congratulations SFC Petry. Well done sir.

 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 31, 2011

ADVISORY: President Obama to Award Medal of Honor

On July 12th, President Barack Obama will award Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.  Sergeant First Class Petry will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Paktya, Afghanistan in May, 2008.  He will be the second living, active duty service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Sergeant First Class Petry’s wife, Ashley, and other family members will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Leroy Arthur Petry was born on July 29, 1979.  He is a native of Santé Fe, New Mexico and enlisted in the United States Army in September 1999.  He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Sergeant First Class Petry is currently assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment and attached to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with duty at Joint Base Lewis McChord as a liaison for the SOCOM Care Coalition where he tracks and monitors injured Rangers returning from the Theater of Operations to the initial place of care to home station care.

Sergeant First Class Petry has completed multiple combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq totaling 28 months of deployment.

His military decorations include: two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, three Army Good Conduct Medals,  Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, to name a few.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

THE MEDAL OF HONOR:

The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while:

  • engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
  • engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

Please click to view the original release from the White House.