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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Garfield Mcconnell Langhorn

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Troop C, 7th Squadron (Airmobile), 17th Cavalry,
    1st Aviation Brigade
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 15, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Plei Djereng, Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Langhorn distinguished himself while serving as a radio operator with Troop C, near Plei Djereng in Pleiku Province. Pfc. Langhorn's platoon was inserted into a landing zone to rescue two pilots of a Cobra helicopter shot down by enemy fire on a heavily timbered slope. He provided radio coordination with the command-and-control aircraft overhead while the troops hacked their way through dense undergrowth to the wreckage, where both aviators were found dead. As the men were taking the bodies to a pickup site, they suddenly came under intense fire from North Vietnamese soldiers in camouflaged bunkers to the front and right flank, and within minutes they were surrounded. Pfc. Langhorn immediately radioed for help from the orbiting gunships, which began to place minigun and rocket fire on the aggressors. He then lay between the platoon leader and another man, operating the radio and providing covering fire for the wounded who had been moved to the center of the small perimeter. Darkness soon fell, making it impossible for the gunships to give accurate support, and the aggressors began to probe the perimeter. An enemy hand grenade landed in front of Pfc. Langhorn and a few feet from personnel who had become casualties. Choosing to protect these wounded, he unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, scooped it beneath his body, and absorbed the blast. By sacrificing himself, he saved the lives of his comrades. Pfc. Langhorn's extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Garfield M. Langhorn
Medal of Honor Recipient Garfield M. Langhorn
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Brooklyn, Kings County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 7, 1970

    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family

  • Born: September 10, 1948, Cumberland, Cumberland County, VA, United States
  • Died: January 15, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Riverhead Cemetery (MH), Riverhead, NY, United States
 

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