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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

John James McGinty III

Details
  • Rank: Second Lieutenant (rank at time of action: Staff Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company K, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines,
    3d Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: July 18, 1966
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. McGinty's platoon, which was providing rear security to protect the withdrawal of the battalion from a position which had been under attack for three days, came under heavy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire from an estimated enemy regiment. With each successive human wave which assaulted his 32-man platoon during the four-hour battle, 2d Lt. McGinty rallied his men to beat off the enemy. In one bitter assault, two of the squads became separated from the remainder of the platoon. With complete disregard for his safety, 2d Lt. McGinty charged through intense automatic-weapons and mortar fire to their position. Finding 20 men wounded and the medical corpsman killed, he quickly reloaded ammunition magazines and weapons for the wounded men and directed their fire upon the enemy. Although he was painfully wounded as he moved to care for the disabled men, he continued to shout encouragement to his troops and to direct their fire so effectively that the attacking hordes were beaten off. When the enemy tried to out-flank his position, he killed five of them at point-blank range with his pistol. When they again seemed on the verge of overrunning the small force, he skillfully adjusted artillery and air strikes within 50 yards of his position. This destructive firepower routed the enemy, who left an estimated 500 bodies on the battlefield. 2d Lt. McGinty's personal heroism, indomitable leadership, selfless devotion to duty, and bold fighting spirit inspired his men to resist the repeated attacks by a fanatical enemy, reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Used with permission; copyright Nick DelCalzo
Used with permission; copyright Nick DelCalzo
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Laurel Bay, Beaufort County, South Carolina
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 12, 1968

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

  • Born: January 21, 1940, Boston, Suffolk County, MA, United States
  • Died: January 17, 2014, Beaufort, SC, United States
  • Buried: Beaufort National Cemetery (MOH), Beaufort, SC, United States
 
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