The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
BONDSTEEL, JAMES LEROY
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant,
U.S. Army, Company A, 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and
date: An Loc Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 May 1969. Entered service at:
Detroit, Mich. Born: 18 July 1947, Jackson, Mich.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Bondsteel distinguished himself while serving as a platoon
sergeant with Company A, near the village of Lang Sau. Company A was directed to assist a
friendly unit which was endangered by intense fire from a North Vietnamese Battalion
located in a heavily fortified base camp. S/Sgt. Bondsteel quickly organized the men of
his platoon into effective combat teams and spearheaded the attack by destroying 4 enemy
occupied bunkers. He then raced some 200 meters under heavy enemy fire to reach an
adjoining platoon which had begun to falter. After rallying this unit and assisting their
wounded, S/Sgt. Bondsteel returned to his own sector with critically needed munitions.
Without pausing he moved to the forefront and destroyed 4 enemy occupied bunkers and a
machinegun which had threatened his advancing platoon. Although painfully wounded by an
enemy grenade, S/Sgt. Bondsteel refused medical attention and continued his assault by
neutralizing 2 more enemy bunkers nearby. While searching one of these emplacements S/Sgt.
Bondsteel narrowly escaped death when an enemy soldier detonated a grenade at close range.
Shortly thereafter, he ran to the aid of a severely wounded officer and struck down an
enemy soldier who was threatening the officer's life. S/Sgt. Bondsteel then continued to
rally his men and led them through the entrenched enemy until his company was relieved.
His exemplary leadership and great personal courage throughout the 4-hour battle ensured
the success of his own and nearby units, and resulted in the saving of numerous lives of
his fellow soldiers. By individual acts of bravery he destroyed 10 enemy bunkers and
accounted for a large toll of the enemy, including 2 key enemy commanders. His
extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the
military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.