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Billy Lane Lauffer

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Private First Class Lauffer's squad was suddenly struck at close range by an intense machinegun crossfire from two concealed bunkers. PFC Lauffer, the second man in the column, saw the lead man fall and noted that the remainder of the squad was unable to move. Two comrades, previously wounded and being carried on litters, were lying helpless in the beaten zone of the enemy fire. Reacting instinctively, PFC Lauffer quickly engaged both bunkers with fire from his rifle, but when the other squad members attempted to maneuver under his covering fire, the enemy fusillade increased in volume and thwarted every attempt to move. Seeing this and his wounded comrades helpless in the open, Private First Class Lauffer rose to his feet and charged the enemy machinegun positions, firing his weapon and drawing the enemy's attention. Keeping the enemy confused and off balance, his one-man assault provided the crucial moments for the wounded point man to crawl to a covered position, the squad to move the exposed litter patients to safety, and his comrades to gain more advantageous positions. Private First Class Lauffer was fatally wounded during his selfless act of courage and devotion to his fellow soldiers.

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