The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Medal of Honor Foundation regret to announce the passing of Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

Larry Eugene Smedley

Details
  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines,
    1st Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 20 - 21, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: at the mouth of Happy Valley, near Phouc Ninh (2), Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with Company D, in connection with operations against the enemy. On the evenings of 20 and 21 December 1967, Cpl. Smedley led his six-man squad to an ambush site at the mouth of Happy Valley, near Phouc Ninh (2) in Quang Nam Province. Later that night an estimated 100 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army regulars, carrying 122-mm rocket launchers and mortars, were observed moving toward Hill 41. Realizing this was a significant enemy move to launch an attack on the vital Da Nang complex, Cpl. Smedley immediately took sound and courageous action to stop the enemy threat. After he radioed for a reaction force, he skillfully maneuvered his men to a more advantageous position and led an attack on the numerically superior enemy force. A heavy volume of fire from an enemy machine-gun positioned on the left flank of the squad inflicted several casualties on Cpl. Smedley's unit. Simultaneously, an enemy rifle grenade exploded nearby, wounding him in the right foot and knocking him to the ground. Cpl. Smedley disregarded this serious injury and valiantly struggled to his feet, shouting words of encouragement to his men. He fearlessly led a charge against the enemy machine-gun emplacement, firing his rifle and throwing grenades, until he was again struck by enemy fire and knocked to the ground. Gravely wounded and weak from loss of blood, he rose and commenced a one-man assault against the enemy position. Although his aggressive and singlehanded attack resulted in the destruction of the machine gun, he was struck in the chest by enemy fire and fell mortally wounded. Cpl. Smedley's inspiring and courageous actions, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Larry E. Smedley
Medal of Honor Recipient Larry E. Smedley
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Orlando, Orange County, Florida
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 20, 1969
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: March 4, 1949, Front Royal, Warren County, VA, United States
  • Died: December 21, 1967, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (31-6486), Arlington, VA, United States
 

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