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John James Kedenburg

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U.S. Army Special Forces
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Portrait from the John F. Kennedy Hall, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

 

 

Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg was advisor to a long-range reconnaissance team of South Vietnamese troops whose mission was to conduct counter-guerrilla operations deep in enemy territory. Prior to reaching the day's objective, the team was attacked and encircled by a battalion-size enemy force. Specialist Kedenburg assumed command of the team which succeeded, after a fierce fight, in breaking out. As the team moved through thick jungle to a position from which it could be extracted, he conducted a gallant rear guard fight against the pursuing enemy with the loss of only one man. When air support arrived he directed strikes against the enemy so helicopters could hover and drop slings to extract the team. After half of the team was extracted he and the remaining three members of the team harnessed themselves to the sling on a second hovering helicopter. As it prepared to lift, a team member who had been unaccounted for after the initial encounter appeared in the landing zone. Specialist Kedenburg unhesitatingly gave up his place in the sling to the man and directed the helicopter pilot to leave the area. He then continued to engage the enemy who were swarming into the landing zone, killing six before he was overpowered.

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