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Elmelindo Rodriques Smith

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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During a reconnaissance patrol, Platoon Sergeant Smith's platoon was suddenly engaged by intense machinegun fire, hemming in the platoon on three sides. A defensive perimeter was hastily established, but the enemy added mortar and rocket fire to the deadly fusillade and assaulted from several directions. With complete disregard for his safety, Sergeant Smith moved through the deadly fire along the defensive line, positioning soldiers, distributing ammunition and encouraging his men. Struck by enemy fire which caused a severe shoulder wound, he regained his feet, killed the enemy soldier and continued to move about the perimeter. He was again wounded in the shoulder and stomach but continued moving on his knees to assist in the defense. Noting the enemy massing at a weakened point on the perimeter, he crawled into the open and poured deadly fire into the enemy ranks when he was struck by a rocket. Drawing on his fast dwindling strength, he continued to crawl from man to man. When he could move no farther, he chose to remain in the open where he could alert the perimeter to the approaching enemy. Platoon Sergeant Smith perished, never relenting in his determined effort against the enemy.

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