MATTHEW Rank and organization: platoon Sergeant, U.S. Army,
Company B, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. place
and date: Near Suoi Da, Republic of Vietnam, 28 February 1967. Entered
service at: Birmingham, Ala. Born: 26 November 1929, Eutaw, Ala. Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of
his life above and beyond the call of duty. His platoon was suddenly
attacked by a large enemy force employing small arms, automatic weapons,
and hand grenades.
Although the platoon leader and several other key leaders were among
the first wounded, p/Sgt. Leonard quickly rallied his men to throw
back the initial enemy assaults. During the short pause that followed,
he organized a defensive perimeter, redistributed ammunition, and
inspired his comrades through his forceful leadership and words of
encouragement. Noticing a wounded companion outside the perimeter,
he dragged the man to safety but was struck by a sniper's bullet which
shattered his left hand.
Refusing medical attention and continuously exposing himself to the
increasing fire as the enemy again assaulted the perimeter, p/Sgt.
Leonard moved from position to position to direct the fire of his
men against the well camouflaged foe. Under the cover of the main
attack, the enemy moved a machinegun into a location where it could
sweep the entire perimeter. This threat was magnified when the platoon
machinegun in this area malfunctioned. p/Sgt. Leonard quickly crawled
to the gun position and was helping to clear the malfunction when
the gunner and other men in the vicinity were wounded by fire from
the enemy machinegun. p/Sgt. Leonard rose to his feet, charged the
enemy gun and destroyed the hostile crew despite being hit several
times by enemy fire.
He moved to a tree, propped himself against it, and continued to engage
the enemy until he succumbed to his many wounds. His fighting spirit,
heroic leadership, and valiant acts inspired the remaining members
of his platoon to hold back the enemy until assistance arrived. p/Sgt.
Leonard's profound courage and devotion to his men are in keeping
with the highest traditions of the military service, and his gallant
actions reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
DONALD RUSSELL Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S.
Army, Troop C, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division.
place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 30 June 1966. Entered service
at: Ashland, Ky. Born: 27 August 1939, Blackfork, Ohio. G.O. No.:
13, 4 April 1968. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Troops B and C, while conducting a reconnaissance mission along
a road were suddenly attacked by a Viet Cong regiment, supported
by mortars, recoilless rifles and machineguns, from concealed positions
astride the road. Sgt. Long abandoned the relative safety of his
armored personnel carrier and braved a withering hail of enemy fire
to carry wounded men to evacuation helicopters. As the platoon fought
its way forward to resupply advanced elements, Sgt. Long repeatedly
exposed himself to enemy fire at point blank range to provide the
While assaulting the Viet Cong position, Sgt. Long inspired his
comrades by fearlessly standing unprotected to repel the enemy with
rifle fire and grenades as they attempted to mount his carrier.
When the enemy threatened to overrun a disabled carrier nearby,
Sgt. Long again disregarded his own safety to help the severely
wounded crew to safety. As he was handing arms to the less seriously
wounded and reorganizing them to press the attack, an enemy grenade
was hurled onto the carrier deck.
Immediately recognizing the imminent danger, he instinctively shouted
a warning to the crew and pushed to safety one man who had not heard
his warning over the roar of battle. Realizing that these actions
would not fully protect the exposed crewmen from the deadly explosion,
he threw himself over the grenade to absorb the blast and thereby
saved the lives of 8 of his comrades at the expense of his life.
Throughout the battle, Sgt. Long's extraordinary heroism, courage
and supreme devotion to his men were in the finest tradition of
the military service, and reflect great credit upon himself and
the U.S. Army.
MILTON L. III Rank and organization: Private First Class,
U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d
Airborne Brigade. Place and date: Phu Cuong, Republic of Vietnam,
22 October 1965. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 7 November
1946, Chicago, Ill. C.O. No.: 18, 26 April 1966. Citation: For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond
the call of duty. Pfc. Olive was a member of the 3d Platoon of Company
B, as it moved through the jungle to find the Viet Cong operating
in the area.
Although the platoon was subjected to a heavy volume of enemy gunfire
and pinned down temporarily, it retaliated by assaulting the Viet
Cong positions, causing the enemy to flee. As the platoon pursued
the insurgents, Pfc. Olive and 4 other soldiers were moving through
the jungle together with a grenade was thrown into their midst.
Pfc. Olive saw the grenade, and then saved the lives of his fellow
soldiers at the sacrifice of his by grabbing the grenade in his
hand and falling on it to absorb the blast with his body.
Through his bravery, unhesitating actions, and complete disregard
for his safety, he prevented additional loss of life or injury to
the members of his platoon. Pfc. Olive's extraordinary heroism,
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in
the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit
upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
RILEY L. Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company
C, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and
date: Ap Dong, Republic of Vietnam, 31 October 1967. Entered service
at: Wichita, Kans. Born: 15 October 1937, Fallis, Okla. Citation:
Distinguishing himself by exceptional heroism while serving as company
commander during an airmobile assault. Immediately after his company
landed in the area, several Viet Cong opened fire with automatic
weapons. Despite the enemy fire, Capt. Pitts forcefully led an assault
which overran the enemy positions.
Shortly thereafter, Capt. Pitts was ordered to move his unit to
the north to reinforce another company heavily engaged against a
strong enemy force. As Capt. Pitts' company moved forward to engage
the enemy, intense fire was received from 3 directions, including
fire from 4 enemy bunkers, 2 of which were within 15 meters of Capt.
Pitts' position. The severity of the incoming fire prevented Capt.
Pitts from maneuvering his company.
His rifle fire proving ineffective against the enemy due to the
dense jungle foliage, he picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and
began pinpointing the targets. Seizing a Chinese Communist grenade
which had been taken from a captured Viet Cong's web gear, Capt.
Pitts lobbed the grenade at a bunker to his front, but it hit the
dense jungle foliage and rebounded. Without hesitation, Capt. Pitts
threw himself on top of the grenade which, fortunately, failed to
Capt. Pitts then directed the repositioning of the company to permit
friendly artillery to be fired. Upon completion of the artillery
fire mission, Capt. Pitts again led his men toward the enemy positions,
personally killing at least 1 more Viet Cong. The jungle growth
still prevented effective fire to be placed on the enemy bunkers.
Capt. Pitts, displaying complete disregard for his life and personal
safety, quickly moved to a position which permitted him to place
effective fire on the enemy.
He maintained a continuous fire, pinpointing the enemy's fortified
positions, while at the same time directing and urging his men forward,
until he was mortally wounded. Capt. Pitts' conspicuous gallantry,
extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life,
above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions
of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit,
and the Armed Forces of his country.