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Harold Bascom Durham, Jr.

Harold Durham, Medal of Honor

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Second Lieutenant Durham was a forward observer on a reconnaissance-in-force mission when contact was made with an enemy force in well-camouflaged bunkers. He moved into an exposed position to adjust artillery fire and then, during a lull in the battle, gave first aid to the wounded in spite of heavy sniper fire. He learned that Company A, bearing the brunt of the attack, had lost its forward observer. While moving to replace the wounded observer, the enemy detonated a mine, severely wounding him in the head and impairing his vision. Still, he continued to direct fire and employ his own weapon while calling for artillery fire to be placed directly on his position. Twice the insurgents were driven back and Lieutenant Durham was taken to a secondary defensive position. In his weakened condition he continued to call artillery fire onto the enemy. He refused to seek cover and positioned himself in a small clearing which offered a better vantage point. He was wounded a second time by enemy machinegun fire and as he lay on the ground near death, he saw two Viet Cong approaching, shooting defenseless wounded men. With his last effort he shouted a warning to a nearby soldier who killed the insurgents, then died still grasping the radio handset.

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