The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*SMITH, ELMELINDO R.
Rank and organization: Platoon Sergeant
(then S/Sgt.), U.S. Army, 1st Platoon, Company C, 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry
Division. Place and Date: Republic of Vietnam, 16 February 1967. Entered
service at: Honolulu, Hawaii. Born: 27 July 1935, Honolulu, Hawaii.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty. During a reconnaissance patrol. his platoon was suddenly engaged by intense
machinegun fire hemming in the platoon on 3 sides. A defensive perimeter was hastily
established, but the enemy added mortar and rocket fire to the deadly fusillade and
assaulted the position from several directions. With complete disregard for his safety,
P/Sgt. Smith moved through the deadly fire along the defensive line, positioning soldiers,
distributing ammunition and encouraging his men to repeal the enemy attack. Struck to the
ground by enemy fire which caused a severe shoulder wound, he regained his feet, killed
the enemy soldier and continued to move about the perimeter. He was again wounded in the
shoulder and stomach but continued moving on his knees to assist in the defense. Noting
the enemy massing at a weakened point on the perimeter, he crawled into the open and
poured deadly fire into the enemy ranks. As he crawled on, he was struck by a rocket.
Moments later, he regained consciousness, and drawing on his fast dwindling strength,
continued to crawl from man to man. When he could move no farther, he chose to remain in
the open where he could alert the perimeter to the approaching enemy. P/Sgt. Smith
perished, never relenting in his determined effort against the enemy. The valorous acts
and heroic leadership of this outstanding soldier inspired those remaining members of his
platoon to beat back the enemy assaults. P/Sgt. Smith's gallant actions were in keeping
with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and they reflect great credit upon him and
the Armed Forces of his country.