Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Joseph Guy LaPointe Jr.

  • Rank: Specialist Fourth Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Headquarters & Headquarters Troop, 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry,
    101st Airborne Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 2, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. LaPointe, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Squadron, distinguished himself while serving as a medical aidman during a combat helicopter assault mission. Sp4c. LaPointe's patrol was advancing from the landing zone through an adjoining valley when it suddenly encountered heavy automatic-weapons fire from a large enemy force entrenched in well-fortified bunker positions. In the initial hail of fire, two soldiers in the formation vanguard were seriously wounded. Hearing a call for aid from one of the wounded, Sp4c. LaPointe ran forward through heavy fire to assist his fallen comrades. To reach the wounded men, he was forced to crawl directly in view of an enemy bunker. As members of his unit attempted to provide covering fire, he administered first aid to one man, shielding the other with his body. He was hit by a burst of fire from the bunker while attending the wounded soldier. In spite of his painful wounds, Sp4c. LaPointe continued his lifesaving duties until he was again wounded and knocked to the ground. Making strenuous efforts, he moved back again into a shielding position to continue administering first aid. An exploding enemy grenade mortally wounded all three men. Sp4c. LaPointe's courageous actions at the cost of his life were an inspiration to his comrades. His gallantry and selflessness are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Joseph G. LaPointe Jr.
Medal of Honor Recipient Joseph G. LaPointe Jr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 16, 1971

    Old Executive Office Building, presented by Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew to his family

  • Born: July 2, 1948, Dayton, Montgomery County, OH, United States
  • Died: June 2, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Riverside Cemetery (MH) (6-443-2), West Milton, OH, United States

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