Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Life Worth Noting

David H. McNerney, Medal of Honor recipient.
While trekking through thick vegetation, the company's front column was hit with heavy fire and the rear platoon was surprised from behind. Before the company's 108 soldiers could organize into defensive positions, they were surrounded and outnumbered at least three to one. In the first minutes of battle, 22 Americans were dead and about 40 were wounded. The company's commanding officer and the forward artillery observer were both killed in the ambush. As the senior enlisted man, Sgt. McNerney took control of the remaining soldiers and coordinated their counterattack.

...Sgt. McNerney began to sprint toward the front lines as bullets kicked up dust around his boots. He hit the ground and returned fire, killing a group of Viet Cong soldiers in front of him.... When the grenade exploded just a few feet away, Sgt. McNerney was blown in the air and suffered a laceration on his chest. Ignoring his wounds and sensing the approaching enemy soldiers, Sgt. McNerney recovered the artillery observer's radio and called in heavy rounds to within 65 feet of his position - dangerously close to the artillery's margin of error.

In order to mark the area that his troops occupied, Sgt. McNerney searched for colored smoke canisters but realized they had all been used. Improvising, Sgt. McNerney grabbed his unit's brightly colored insignia panel and headed through substantialenemy fire to a tall tree in a clearing. He climbed up and tied the panel to the highest branch in the canopy, so it could be seen by friendly aircraft.

There's more.

Godspeed, Sergeant McNerny.



Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

It's interesting that the VC, although insurgents/guerillas were identified as ENEMY SOLDIERS in the MOH citation.
Interesting that.
Indeed this was a life worth commenting on his passing.

7:28 AM  

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