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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Danny John Petersen

Details
  • Rank: Specialist Fourth Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company B, 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 9, 1970
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation
Sp4c. Petersen distinguished himself while serving as an armored personnel carrier commander with Company B during a combat operation against a North Vietnamese Army force estimated to be of battalion size. During the initial contact with the enemy, an armored personnel carrier was disabled and the crewmen were pinned down by the heavy onslaught of enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and rocket-propelled-grenade fire. Sp4c. Petersen immediately maneuvered his armored personnel carrier to a position between the disabled vehicle and the enemy. He placed suppressive fire on the enemy's well- fortified position, thereby enabling the crewmembers of the disabled personnel carrier to repair their vehicle. He then maneuvered his vehicle, while still under heavy hostile fire, to within 10 feet of the enemy's defensive emplacement. After a period of intense fighting, his vehicle received a direct hit and the driver was wounded. With extraordinary courage and selfless disregard for his own safety, Sp4c. Petersen carried his wounded comrade 45 meters across the bullet-swept field to a secure area. He then voluntarily returned to his disabled armored personnel carrier to provide covering fire for both the other vehicles and the dismounted personnel of his platoon as they withdrew. Despite heavy fire from three sides, he remained with his disabled vehicle, alone and completely exposed. Sp4c. Petersen was standing on top of his vehicle, firing his weapon, when he was mortally wounded. His heroic and selfless actions prevented further loss of life in his platoon. Sp4c. Petersen's conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient Danny J. Petersen
Medal of Honor Recipient Danny J. Petersen
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Kansas City, Clay County, Missouri
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 17, 1974
    Blair House, presented by Vice Pres. Gerald R. Ford to his family
  • Born: March 11, 1949, Horton, Brown County, KS, United States
  • Died: January 9, 1970, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Netawaka Cemetery (MH), Netawaka, KS, United States
 

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