Born: 20 December 1929, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Sobangsan, Korea, 24 June 1951.
Entered service at: Cocoa, Fla.
G.O. No.: 11, 1 February 1952.Citation: PFC Bennett, a member of Company B, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations.
At approximately 0200 hours, 2 enemy battalions swarmed up the ridge line in a ferocious banzai charge in an attempt to dislodge PFC Bennett's company from its defensive positions. Meeting the challenge, the gallant defenders delivered destructive retaliation, but the enemy pressed the assault with fanatical determination and the integrity of the perimeter was imperiled.
Fully aware of the odds against him, PFC Bennett unhesitatingly left his foxhole, moved through withering fire, stood within full view of the enemy, and, employing his automatic rifle, poured crippling fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants, inflicting numerous casualties. Although wounded, PFC Bennett gallantly maintained his one man defense and the attack was momentarily halted.
During this lull in battle, the company regrouped for counterattack, but the numerically superior foe soon infiltrated into the position. Upon orders to move back, PFC Bennett voluntarily remained to provide covering fire for the withdrawing elements, and, defying the enemy, continued to sweep the charging foe with devastating fire until mortally wounded.
His willing self-sacrifice and intrepid actions saved the position from being overrun and enabled the company to effect an orderly withdrawal. PFC Bennett's unflinching courage and consummate devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and the military service.
Floyd Bennett (October 25, 1890 – April 25, 1928) was an American aviator who piloted Richard E. Byrd on his failed attempt to reach the North Pole in 1926.
Visit them at www.homeofheroes.com
Edward was born on 11 Feb 1920 in Middleport, Ohio, which is where he also entered military service.
Corporal Bennett was assigned to Bravo Company, 358th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division and saw combat action in Heckhuscheid, Germany, in February of 1945.
General Order 95, dated 30 Oct 1945 has this citation:
"He was advancing with Company B across open ground to assault Heckhuscheid, Germany, just after dark when vicious enemy machine gun fire from a house on the outskirts of the town pinned down the group and caused several casualties.
"He began crawling to the edge of the field in an effort to flank the house, persisting in this maneuver even when the hostile machine gunners located him by the light of burning buildings and attempted to cut him down as he made for the protection of some trees.
"Reaching safety, he stealthily made his way by a circuitous route to the rear of the building occupied by the German gunners. With his trench knife he killed a sentry on guard there and then charged into the darkened house.
"In a furious hand-to-hand struggle he stormed about a single room which harbored 7 Germans. Three he killed with rifle fire, another he clubbed to death with the butt of his gun, and the 3 others he dispatched with his .45 caliber pistol. The fearless initiative, stalwart combat ability, and outstanding gallantry of Cpl. Bennett eliminated the enemy fire which was decimating his company’s ranks and made it possible for the Americans to sweep all resistance from the town.
Corporal, U.S. Army, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Division
Chu Pa Region, Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam
9 - 11 February 1969
Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_W._Bennett_(conscientious_objector)
A Conscientious Objector's Medal of Honor
Originally published by Vietnam magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. Corporal Bennett distinguished himself while serving as a platoon
medical aidman with the 2d Platoon, Company B, during a reconnaissance-in-force mission.
On 9 February, the platoon was moving to assist the 1st Platoon of Company D which
had run into a North Vietnamese ambush when it became heavily engaged by the intense
small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket fire from a well fortified and numerically superior enemy unit. In the initial barrage of fire, 3 of the point members of the platoon fell wounded.
Corporal Bennett, with complete disregard for his safety, ran through the heavy fire to his fallen comrades, administered life-saving first aid under fire and then made repeated trips carrying the wounded men to positions of relative safety from which they would be medically evacuated from the battle position.
Corporal Bennett repeatedly braved the intense enemy fire moving across open areas to give aid and comfort to his wounded comrades. He valiantly exposed himself to the heavy fire in order to retrieve the bodies of several fallen personnel. Throughout the night and following day, Cpl. Bennett moved from position to position treating and comforting the several personnel who had suffered shrapnel and gunshot wounds.
On 11 February, Company B again moved in an assault on the well fortified enemy positions and became heavily engaged with the numerically superior enemy force. Five members of the company fell wounded in the initial assault. Cpl. Bennett ran to their aid without regard to the heavy fire. He treated 1 wounded comrade and began running toward another seriously wounded man. Although the wounded man was located forward of the company position covered by heavy enemy grazing fire and Cpl. Bennett was warned that it was impossible to reach the position, he leaped forward with complete disregard for his safety to save his comrade's life. In attempting to save his fellow soldier, he was mortally wounded.
Corporal Bennett's undaunted concern for his comrades at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to CAPTAIN STEVEN L. BENNETT UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, Pacific Air Forces.
Place and date of action: Quang Tri, Republic of Vietnam, June 29, 1972. For service as set forth in the followingCitation:
Capt. Bennett was the pilot of a light aircraft flying an artillery adjustment mission along a heavily defended segment of route structure. A large concentration of enemy troops was massing for an attack on a friendly unit. Capt. Bennett requested tactical air support but was advised that none was available. He also requested artillery support but this too was denied due to the close proximity of friendly troops to the target.
Capt. Bennett was determined to aid the endangered unit and elected to strafe the hostile positions. After 4 such passes, the enemy force began to retreat. Capt. Bennett continued the attack, but, as he completed his fifth strafing pass, his aircraft was struck by a surface-to-air missile, which severely damaged the left engine and the left main landing gear.
As fire spread in the left engine, Capt. Bennett realized that recovery at a friendly airfield was impossible. He instructed his observer to prepare for an ejection, but was informed by the observer that his parachute had been shredded by the force of the impacting missile. Although Capt. Bennett had a good parachute, he knew that if he ejected, the observer would have no chance of survival.
With complete disregard for his own life, Capt. Bennett elected to ditch the aircraft into the Gulf of Tonkin, even though he realized that a pilot of this type aircraft had never survived a ditching. The ensuing impact upon the water caused the aircraft to cartwheel and severely damaged the front cockpit, making escape for Capt. Bennett impossible. The observer successfully made his way out of the aircraft and was rescued. Capt. Bennett's unparalleled concern for his companion, extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Air Force.
GERALD R. FORD
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES