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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Charles James (Angelo) Liteky

Details
  • Rank: Captain
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Headquarters & Headquarters Company,
    199th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light)
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 6, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Phuoc-Lac, Bien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation

Chaplain Liteky distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was participating in a search-and-destroy operation when Company A came under intense fire from a battalion-size enemy force. Momentarily stunned from the immediate encounter that ensued, the men hugged the ground for cover. Observing two wounded men, Chaplain Liteky moved to within 15 meters of an enemy machine-gun position to reach them, placing himself between the enemy and the wounded men. When there was a brief respite in the fighting, he managed to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. Inspired by his courageous actions, the company rallied and began placing a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy positions. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to the dying and evacuating the wounded. Noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, Chaplain Liteky crawled to his aid. Realizing that the wounded man was too heavy to carry, he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest and through sheer determination and fortitude crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels to push himself along. Pausing for breath momentarily, he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush. Once more intense enemy fire was directed at him, but Chaplain Liteky stood his ground and calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the landing zone for evacuation. On several occasions when the landing zone was under small-arms and rocket fire, Chaplain Liteky stood up in the face of hostile fire and personally directed the medivac helicopters into and out of the area. With the wounded safely evacuated, Chaplain Liteky returned to the perimeter, constantly encouraging and inspiring the men. Upon the unit's relief on the morning of 7 December 1967, it was discovered that despite painful wounds in the neck and foot, Chaplain Liteky had personally carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation during the savage fighting. Through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy. Chaplain Liteky's actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Charles James (Angelo) Liteky
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles James (Angelo) Liteky
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Fort Hamilton, Kings County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: November 19, 1968

    The White House, presented by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson

  • Born: February 14, 1931, Washington, DC, United States
  • Died: January 20, 2017, San Franciso, CA, United States
  • Buried: Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA, United States
 

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