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Riley Leroy Pitts

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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After his company landed in an airmobile assault, several Viet Cong opened fire with automatic weapons. Captain Pitts led an assault which overran the enemy positions and was then ordered to move north to reinforce another company engaged against a strong enemy force. As his company moved forward intense fire was received from three directions, including four bunkers, two of which were within 15 meters of his position. His rifle fire proving ineffective against the enemy due to the dense foliage, Captain Pitts picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and began pinpointing the targets. Seizing a grenade taken from a captured Viet Cong's web gear, he lobbed it at a bunker to his front but it hit the foliage and rebounded. Without hesitation Captain Pitts threw himself on top of the grenade which, fortunately, failed to explode. He then directed the repositioning of the company to permit friendly artillery to be fired. Upon completion of the fire mission, he again led his men toward the enemy positions, personally killing at least one more Viet Cong. Displaying complete disregard for his personal safety, he maintained continuous fire, pinpointing the enemy's fortified positions, while at the same time directing and urging his men forward, until he was mortally wounded.

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