Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Maximo Yabes

  • Rank: First Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 26, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Phu Hoa Dong, Republic of Vietnam
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. First Sgt. Yabes distinguished himself with Company A, which was providing security for a land-clearing operation. Early in the morning the company suddenly came under intense automatic-weapons and mortar fire followed by a battalion-sized assault from three sides. Penetrating the defensive perimeter, the enemy advanced on the company command post bunker. The command post received increasingly heavy fire and was in danger of being overwhelmed. When several enemy grenades landed within the command post, 1st Sgt. Yabes shouted a warning and used his body as a shield to protect others in the bunker. Although painfully wounded by numerious grenade fragments, and despite the vicious enemy fire on the bunker, he remained there to provide covering fire and enable the others in the command group to relocate. When the command group had reached a new position, 1st Sgt. Yabes moved through a withering hail of enemy fire to another bunker 50 meters away. There he secured a grenade launcher from a fallen comrade and fired point-blank into the attacking Viet Cong, stopping further penetration of the perimeter. Noting two wounded men helpless in the fire-swept area, he moved them to a safer position where they could be given medical treatment. He resumed his accurate and effective fire, killing several enemy soldiers and forcing others to withdraw from the vicinity of the command post. As the battle continued, he observed an enemy machine gun within the perimeter which threatened the whole position. On his own, he dashed across the exposed area, assaulted the machine gun, killed the crew, destroyed the weapon, and fell mortally wounded. First Sgt. Yabes' valiant and selfless actions saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers and inspired his comrades to effectively repel the enemy assault. His indomitable fighting spirit, extraordinary courage, and intrepidity at the cost of his life are in the highest military traditions and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Maximo Yabes
Medal of Honor Recipient Maximo Yabes
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Eugene, Lane County, Oregon
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 31, 1968
    The Pentagon, presented by Sec. of the Army Stanley R. Resor to his family
  • Born: January 29, 1932, Lodi, San Joaquin County, CA, United States
  • Died: February 26, 1967, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Fort Logan National Cemetery (MH) (R-369), Denver, CO, United States
  • Location of Medal: Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center, Chattanooga, TN

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