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Michael Reinert Blanchfield

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Specialist Fourth Class Blanchfield was a rifleman in company on a combat patrol. The patrol surrounded a group of houses to search for suspects. During the search of one of the huts, a man suddenly ran out toward a nearby tree line. Specialist Fourth Class Blanchfield, who was on guard outside the hut, saw the man, shouted for him to halt, and began firing at him as the man ignored the warning and continued to run. The suspect suddenly threw a grenade toward the hut and its occupants. Although the exploding grenade severely wounded Specialist Fourth Class Blanchfield and several others, he regained his feet to continue the pursuit of the enemy. The fleeing enemy threw a second grenade which landed near Specialist Fourth Class Blanchfield and several members of his patrol. Instantly realizing the danger, he shouted a warning to his comrades. Specialist Fourth Class Blanchfield unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full and fatal impact of the explosion. By his gallant action and self-sacrifice, he was able to save the lives and prevent injury to four members of the patrol and several Vietnamese civilians in the immediate area.

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