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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Don Leslie Michael

Details
  • Rank: Specialist Fourth Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 4th Battalion, 503d Infantry,
    173d Airborne Brigade
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 8, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Republic of Vietnam
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Michael, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving with Company C. Sp4c. Michael was part of a platoon which was moving through an area of suspected enemy activity. While the rest of the platoon stopped to provide security, the squad to which Sp4c. Michael was assigned moved forward to investigate signs of recent enemy activity. After moving approximately 125 meters, the squad encountered a single Viet Cong soldier. When he was fired upon by the squad's machine gunner, other Viet Cong opened fire with automatic weapons from a well-concealed bunker to the squad's right front. The volume of enemy fire was so withering as to pin down the entire squad and halt all forward movement. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sp4c. Michael exposed himself to throw two grenades, but failed to eliminate the enemy position. From his position on the left flank, Sp4c. Michael maneuvered forward with two more grenades until he was within 20 meters of the enemy bunkers, when he again exposed himself to throw two grenades, which failed to detonate. Undaunted, Sp4c. Michael made his way back to the friendly positions to obtain more grenades. With two grenades in hand, he again started his perilous move towards the enemy bunker, which by this time was under intense artillery fire from friendly positions. As he neared the bunker, an enemy soldier attacked him from a concealed position. Sp4c. Michael killed him with his rifle and, in spite of the enemy fire and the exploding artillery rounds, was successful in destroying the enemy positions. Sp4c. Michael took up pursuit of the remnants of the retreating enemy. When his comrades reached Sp4c. Michael, he had been mortally wounded. His inspiring display of determination and courage saved the lives of many of his comrades and successfully eliminated a destructive enemy force. Sp4c. Michael's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient Don L. Michael
Medal of Honor Recipient Don L. Michael
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Montgomery, Montgonery County, Alabama
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: May 23, 1969
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: July 31, 1947, Florence, Lauderdale County, AL, United States
  • Died: April 8, 1967, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery (MH), Lexington, AL, United States
 

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