Academic journal article Military Review

Specialist Five James C. McCloughan: MEDAL OF HONOR: VIETNAM WAR

Academic journal article Military Review

Specialist Five James C. McCloughan: MEDAL OF HONOR: VIETNAM WAR

Article excerpt

Michigan native James C. McCloughan was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Donald J. Trump in a 31 July 2017 White House ceremony for actions "of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" from 13 to 15 May 1969 during the battle of Battle of Nui Yon Hill in the Republic of Vietnam. McCloughan is credited with saving the lives of at least ten soldiers while being wounded several times during the fight. During the ceremony--the first such award presented by Trump--the president described McCloughan's bravery: "He would not yield, he would not rest, he would not stop, and he would not flinch in the face of sure death and definite danger."

McCloughan, then a private first class, was assigned as a combat medic with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, when the unit air assaulted into an area near the city of Tam Ky in Quang Nam Province. "Charlie Company" came under heavy small arms and machine gun fire almost immediately, and two U.S. helicopters were shot down. McCloughan ran one hundred meters through the withering gunfire to reach a wounded pilot, and then he carried the pilot back through the fire to safety.

Later that day, a Charlie Company platoon conducting a reconnaissance patrol was ambushed by a large North Vietnamese Army force and suffered heavy casualties. McCloughan again exposed himself to enemy fire, running into the ambush to pull two soldiers to the safety of a nearby trench. He was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade during the rescue, but he ignored a direct order to stay back and moved into the fire four more times to save other soldiers. …

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