Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Hammett Lee Bowen Jr.

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 27, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Binh Duong Province, Republic of Vietnam

SSgt. Bowen distinguished himself while serving as a platoon sergeant during combat operations in Binh Duong Province, Republic of Vietnam. SSgt. Bowen's platoon was advancing on a reconnaissance mission into enemy-controlled terrain when it came under the withering crossfire of small arms and grenades from an enemy ambush force. SSgt. Bowen placed heavy suppressive fire on the enemy positions and ordered his men to fall back. As the platoon was moving back, an enemy grenade was thrown amid SSgt. Bowen and three of his men. Sensing the danger to his comrades, SSgt. Bowen shouted a warning to his men and hurled himself on the grenade, absorbing the explosion with his body while saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. SSgt. Bowen's extraordinary courage and concern for his men at the cost of his life served as an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the military service and the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Hammett L. Bowen Jr.
Medal of Honor Recipient Hammett L. Bowen Jr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 17, 1974

    Blair House (Courtyard), presented by Vice Pres. Gerald R. Ford to his family

  • Born: November 30, 1947, LaGrange, Troup County, GA, United States
  • Died: June 27, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Restlawn Memory Garden Cemetery (MH) (512-B-4), La Grange, GA, United States

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