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Garfield McConnell Langhorn

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Private First Class Langhorn's platoon was inserted into a landing zone to rescue two pilots of a Cobra helicopter shot down by enemy fire on a heavily timbered slope. He provided radio coordination with the command-and-control aircraft overhead while the troops hacked their way through dense undergrowth to the wreckage, where both aviators were found dead. As the men were taking the bodies to a pickup site, they came under intense fire from enemy soldiers in camouflaged bunkers to the front and right flank, and within minutes they were surrounded. PFC Langhorn radioed for help from the orbiting gunships, which placed minigun and rocket fire on the aggressors. He then lay between the platoon leader and another man, operating the radio and providing covering fire for the wounded who had been moved to the center of the perimeter. Darkness fell, making it impossible for the gunships to give accurate support, and the aggressors began to probe the perimeter. An enemy hand grenade landed in front of PFC Langhorn and a few feet from other casualties. Choosing to protect these wounded, he unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, scooped it beneath his body and absorbed the blast. By sacrificing himself, he saved the lives of his comrades.

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