President Biden awarded Tuesday the Medal of Honor, to four Army veterans who displayed extraordinary heroism in the Vietnam War.
The recipients — Staff Sergeant. Edward N. Kaneshiro (Spc. 5th Class Dwight W. Birdwell (Spc. 5th Class Dennis M. Fujii, and Major John J. Duffy joined the select group of military personnel who have been awarded the highest national recognition for valor.
“Today, we’re setting a record,” said Mr. Biden at a White House ceremony in which he presented medals to the recipients decades after soldiers had distinguished themselves on battlefields.
Staff Sgt. Edward N. Kaneshiro
Kaneshiro was killed in action March 6th, 1967, was an infantry leader of the 1st Cavalry Division. On December 1st, 1966, he was attacked by fortified enemy troops.
After an attack by enemy gunfire that killed four soldiers, including a platoon leader and point man, Kaneshiro sent his remaining soldiers into cover. He then attacked an enemy bunker, clearing 35 metres of trenches, to allow the U.S. forces reorganize, then successfully withdraw from enemy territory.
Kaneshiro was the son of Japanese immigrant parents who was raised in Hawaii and served in Vietnam up to his death by gunfire a few months later.
“Today, his memory is alive in the lives that he saved and the legend of His fearlessness as well as in the hearts of those he left behind,” said Mr. Biden.
Spc. 5th Class Dwight W. Birdwell
Spc. 5th Class Birdwell served with the 25th Infantry Division when his tank commander was incapacitated following an enemy assault on his unit on Jan. 31, 1968.
Following heavy enemy fire, Spc. The 5th Class Birdwell pulled his commander from danger before taking control of the vehicle. He then fired effective fire at the enemy forces from an open position. After expending all available ammunition, Spc. Spc.
He suffered injuries to his head and neck from enemy fire hitting his machine guns, causing an explosion in the middle of battle. Spc. Spc. He was then given reinforcement and aided with the evacuation of other wounded soldiers until his injuries were finally diagnosed.
Spc. 5th Class Birdwell is a Cherokee Nation citizen who returned to Oklahoma in December 1968,. He attended law school at Oklahoma University and then served as the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation.
Spc. Fifth Class Dennis M. Fujii
Spc. The 5th class Fujii was pinned by enemy fire, and he waived off the second helicopter which had just landed to rescue his colleagues.
Despite having been injured, Spc. Spc.
He called in American helicopter guns to defend his position against an enemy attack. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire and tried to protect the South Vietnamese positions from being attacked by enemy fire. Finally, an American helicopter took him from the battlefield.
Major John J. Duffy
Maj. Duffy served with the 5th Special Forces Group and was assigned as an adviser to the 11th Airborne Battalion of the Republic of Vietnam in April 1972 when his base became surrounded by enemy forces.
Maj. Duffy was injured by enemy bombardment and refused to evacuate. He personally moved the allied troops to relative safety, and gave ammunition to anyone who remained to defend their positions.
Despite being under fire from enemy troops, and ambushes for two days, Maj. Duffy held his ground and led the forces of the coalition to an area where they could evacuate the wounded.
Once they reached the exfiltration area, he fired gunship shots on hostile positions to allow helicopters to land.
Major Duffy boarded the helicopter to assist the injured aboard as well as the door gunner who had been hurt during evacuation.
” It’s been an extended journey for these heroes and their families to reach this point,” Mr. Biden stated. More than 50 Years have passed. Their courage and selflessness in placing the lives of others before their own hasn’t diminished. We owe them .”