The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*CAPODANNO, VINCENT R.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S.
Navy, Chaplain Corps, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place
and date: Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 September 1967. Entered
service at: Staten Island, N.Y. Born: 13 February 1929, Staten Island, N.Y.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy
forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being
overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the
company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the
beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and
mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and
giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful
multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he
steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their
wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he
provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant marines. Upon encountering a
wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned
approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the
mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down
by a burst of machinegun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring
example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He
gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.