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Matthew Leonard

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Platoon Sergeant Leonard's men were attacked by a large enemy force employing small arms, automatic weapons, and hand grenades. Although the platoon leader and other key leaders were among the wounded, he rallied his men to throw back the initial assaults. During a pause that followed he organized a perimeter, redistributed ammunition, and inspired his comrades by his forceful leadership. Seeing a wounded man outside the perimeter, he dragged him to safety but was struck by a sniper's bullet which shattered his left hand. Refusing medical attention he continued to move from position to position to direct the fire of his men. The enemy moved a machinegun into a location where it could sweep the entire perimeter and this threat was magnified when the platoon machinegun in this area malfunctioned. Sergeant Leonard crawled to the gun position and was helping to clear the malfunction when the gunner and other men in the vicinity were wounded by fire from the enemy machinegun. He rose to his feet, charged the enemy gun and destroyed the hostile crew despite being hit several times by enemy fire. He moved to a tree, propped himself against it, and continued to engage the enemy until he succumbed to his many wounds.

Photo Courtesy of Terry Hassett 
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