This post was suggested by Gail
19 years old from Philadelphia, Penn.
4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 196th Infantry Brigade
January 14, 1949 – November 20, 1968
On Nov. 20, 1968, Michael J. Crescenz of Philadelphia walked into an ambush on Nui Chom. His squad was pinned down when he made a snap decision to grab an M60 machine gun and charge the bunkers. He took out three, killing six enemy soldiers who may have been dumbstruck in their last seconds to see a lone American running into their fusillade
As he charged a fourth bunker, Crescenz, 19, was killed.
For his heroism, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor:
Cpl. Crescenz distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action while serving as a rifleman with Company A. In
the morning his unit engaged a large, well-entrenched force of the
North Vietnamese Army whose initial burst of fire pinned down the lead
squad and killed the 2 point men, halting the advance of Company A.
Immediately, Cpl. Crescenz left the relative safety of his own
position, seized a nearby machine gun and, with complete disregard for
his safety, charged 100 meters up a slope toward the enemy’s bunkers
which he effectively silenced, killing the 2 occupants of each.
Undaunted by the withering machine gun fire around him, Cpl. Crescenz
courageously moved forward toward a third bunker which he also
succeeded in silencing, killing 2 more of the enemy and momentarily
clearing the route of advance for his comrades. Suddenly, intense
machine gun fire erupted from an unseen, camouflaged bunker. Realizing
the danger to his fellow soldiers, Cpl. Crescenz disregarded the
barrage of hostile fire directed at him and daringly advanced toward
the position. Assaulting with his machine gun, Cpl. Crescenz was
within 5 meters of the bunker when he was mortally wounded by the fire
from the enemy machine gun. As a direct result of his heroic actions,
his company was able to maneuver freely with minimal danger and to
complete its mission, defeating the enemy. Cpl. Crescenz’s bravery and
extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life are in the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on
himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
You can read more about Cpl. Crescenz here
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so
others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When
There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look
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