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  • Shotgun Jeremy

    Spelling Bee Champeon
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    I'm constantly coming across stories of recipients of the Medal of Honor that just blow my mind. I think it'd be nice to have a place to compile them as we come across them. So, I'll start it off with this badass that I just read about:
    [h=1]David B. Bleak[/h]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    [h=3]Medal of Honor action[edit][/h]On 14 June 1952, Bleak was part of a patrol of the 2nd Battalion, 223rd Infantry, sent north to probe Chinese forward positions and attempt to obtain Chinese prisoners of war for interrogation. Bleak volunteered to accompany the 20-man patrol of an I&R Platoon on this mission, which was to send them to a sparsely-vegetated feature called Hill 499, where Chinese forces were known to be operating. The patrol left United Nations lines at 04:30 Korea Standard Time on 14 June, under cover of darkness. It was preceded by an attack by F Company, 223rd Infantry, to the west which was intended to distract Chinese forces.[SUP][5][/SUP][SUP][n 1][/SUP] However, as the patrol ascended the hill, it came under heavy Chinese automatic weapons fire which struck the lead elements, injuring several soldiers. Bleak, at the rear of the formation, rushed forward and treated and stabilized several soldiers hit in the initial volley, then followed the remainder of the patrol as it continued its mission.[SUP][5][/SUP]
    As they attempted to continue up the hill, several Chinese soldiers from a nearby trench opened fire, injuring another soldier. According to witness reports, Bleak rushed the trench and dove into it, tackling one Chinese soldier and, with only his hands, broke the soldier's neck, killing him. Bleak was then confronted by a second soldier, whom he reportedly grabbed by the neck, fatally crushing his windpipe. A third Chinese soldier then approached, and in the ensuing scuffle, Bleak used his combat knife to stab and kill the soldier.[SUP][2][/SUP][SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][5][/SUP]
    Bleak then returned to the patrol and attempted to treat more wounded members, but soon thereafter a Chinese hand grenade bounced off of the helmet of the soldier standing next to him and landed nearby. Bleak tackled the soldier over and covered him with his larger frame to protect him from the grenade, but neither was injured in the ensuing blast.[SUP][5][/SUP] The patrol then continued on its mission, and was successful in capturing several Chinese prisoners.[SUP][4][/SUP] However, as it descended Hill 499 to return to UN lines, they were ambushed by another group of Chinese hidden in a trench with an automatic weapon. Three of the other soldiers were wounded in the attack, and as Bleak attempted to run to them, he was hit in the leg. Bleak dressed all four wounds, but one of the men had been hit too critically to move. In spite of continued Chinese fire and his own injury, Bleak picked up the wounded soldier and began to carry him down the hill.[SUP][5][/SUP]
    As he attempted to withdraw with the wounded soldier, Bleak was confronted by two more Chinese. Putting down the wounded soldier, Bleak reportedly surprised the Chinese soldiers by charging them and smashing their heads together with such force that he may have fractured the skulls of one or both of the assailants before pushing them out of his way.[SUP][2][/SUP][SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][5][/SUP][SUP][8][/SUP] Eventually, all 20 men of the patrol returned to the UN lines, but a third of them were wounded. Bleak was credited with saving the patrol, both by promptly treating the wounded and by aggressively attacking and killing or neutralizing five Chinese soldiers.[SUP][5]


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_B._Bleak#Medal_of_Honor_action[/SUP]
     

    Tejano Scott

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    Great thread idea... I grew up in El Campo, TX and our local hero (and the name who always comes to my mind in these situations) is

    BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.Rank and organization: Master Sergeant. Organization: Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of VietnamPlace and date: West of Loc Ninh on May 2, 1968Entered service at: Houston, Texas June 1955Born: August 5, 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas.Citation:
    250px-Roy_Benavidez_MOH_ceremony.jpg

    Army Master Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez (center) is flanked by United States Secretary of DefenseCaspar Weinberger (left) and President Ronald Reagan at his Medal of Honor presentation ceremony in 1981.​

    Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.
    On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire.
    Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crew members and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team.
    Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader.
    When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt.
    He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from behind by an enemy soldier. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, he sustained additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary.[SUP][4][/SUP][SUP][note 1][/SUP] He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded.
    Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.
     

    Shotgun Jeremy

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    No such thing as a dull MOH story-that's for sure!

    To add to Benavidez's crazy story-I found this:

    On May 2, 1968, a 12-man Special Forces patrol which included nine Montagnard tribesmen, was surrounded by a NVA battalion. Benavidez heard the radio appeal for help and boarded a helicopter to respond. Armed only with a knife, he jumped from the helicopter carrying his medical bag and rushed to help the trapped patrol. Benavidez "distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely glorious actions... and because of his gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men." He was evacuated to the base camp, examined, and thought to be dead. As he was placed in a body bag among the other dead in body bags, he was suddenly recognized by a friend who called for help. A doctor came and examined him and he too believed Benavidez was dead. The doctor was about to zipper up the bag when Benavidez managed to spit in his face, alerting the doctor that he was still alive.[SUP][2][/SUP](see medal citation below) Benavidez had a total of 37 separate bullet, bayonet, and shrapnel wounds from the six hour fight with the enemy battalion,[SUP][3][/SUP]
    Benavidez was evacuated once again to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he eventually recovered. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism and four Purple Hearts. In 1969, he was assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas. In 1972, he was assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he remained until retirement.
    [h=4]Medal of Honor recommendation[edit][/h]In 1973, after more detailed accounts became available, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Ralph R. Drake insisted that Benavidez receive the Medal of Honor. By then, however, the time limit on the medal had expired. An appeal to Congress resulted in an exemption for Benavidez, but the Army Decorations Board denied him an upgrade of his Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor. The Army board required an eyewitness account from someone present during the action, and Benavidez believed that there were no living witnesses of the "Six Hours in Hell."[SUP][citation needed][/SUP]
     
    Last edited:

    karlac

    Lately too damn busy to have Gone fishin' ...
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    Bump this puppy back to life to honor the American Hero mentioned above.
    If it's a dupe, too damned bad.
    It deserves repeating.

     

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