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List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Vietnam War


The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipients must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.

The Vietnam War, (also known as the Second Indochina War football t shirts uk, Vietnam Conflict, and in Vietnam as the American War), took place from 1955 to 1975. The war was fought between the Communist-supported Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States-supported Republic of Vietnam, beginning with the presence of a small number of US military advisors in 1955 and escalating into direct US involvement in a ground war in 1965. It concluded with the Fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, defeating the United States foreign policy in Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War and in the following twelve months, 235 Medals of Honor were received and since 1978 a further 23 awards have been presented. Of the total of 258 awards. 172 were to the US Army, 15 to the US Navy, 57 to the USMC and 14 to the USAF.

The first actions to earn a Medal of Honor in this war were those of Roger Donlon who, on 6 July 1964, rescued and administered first aid to several wounded soldiers and led a group against an enemy force. The last actions to earn a Medal of Honor in this war were those of Bud Day, for actions as a prisoner of war from 26 August 1967 through 14 March 1973 – though some honorees (such as Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., honored on 16 May 2012) have been cited for their Medal after Day’s recognition on March 4, 1976.

The first African American recipient of the war was Milton L. Olive, III who sacrificed himself to save others by smothering a grenade with his body. Riley L. Pitts was killed after attacking an enemy force with rifle fire and grenades and was the first African American commissioned officer of the war to receive the medal. Thomas Bennett was a conscientious objector who received the medal for his actions as a medic; three chaplains received the medal, including Vincent R. Capodanno, who served with the Marine Corps and was known as the „Grunt Padre“.

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