The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
SPRAYBERRY, JAMES M .
organization: Captain (then 1st Lt.), U.S. Army, Company D, 5th Battalion, 7th
Cavalry , 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam,
25 April 1968. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 24 April 1947,
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at
the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Sprayberry, Armor, U.S.
Army, distinguished himself by exceptional bravery while serving as executive officer of
Company D. His company commander and a great number of the men were wounded and separated
from the main body of the company. A daylight attempt to rescue them was driven back by
the well entrenched enemy's heavy fire. Capt. Sprayberry then organized and led a
volunteer night patrol to eliminate the intervening enemy bunkers and to relieve the
surrounded element. The patrol soon began receiving enemy machinegun fire. Capt.
Sprayberry quickly moved the men to protective cover and without regard for his own
safety, crawled within close range of the bunker from which the fire was coming. He
silenced the machinegun with a hand grenade. Identifying several l-man enemy positions
nearby, Capt. Sprayberry immediately attacked them with the rest of his grenades. He
crawled back for more grenades and when 2 grenades were thrown at his men from a position
to the front, Capt. Sprayberry, without hesitation, again exposed himself and charged the
enemy-held bunker killing its occupants with a grenade. Placing 2 men to cover his
advance, he crawled forward and neutralized 3 more bunkers with grenades. Immediately
thereafter, Capt. Sprayberry was surprised by an enemy soldier who charged from a
concealed position. He killed the soldier with his pistol and with continuing disregard
for the danger neutralized another enemy emplacement. Capt. Sprayberry then established
radio contact with the isolated men, directing them toward his position. When the 2
elements made contact he organized his men into litter parties to evacuate the wounded. As
the evacuation was nearing completion, he observed an enemy machinegun position which he
silenced with a grenade. Capt. Sprayberry returned to the rescue party, established
security, and moved to friendly lines with the wounded. This rescue operation, which
lasted approximately 71/2 hours, saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. Capt.
Sprayberry personally killed 12 enemy soldiers, eliminated 2 machineguns, and destroyed
numerous enemy bunkers. Capt. Sprayberry's indomitable spirit and gallant action at great
personal risk to his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military
service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.