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Medal of Honor

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Garfield McConnell Langhorn

Citation:

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Garfield McConnell Langhorn (ASN: 52768385), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio operator with Troop C, 7th Squadron (Airmobile), 17th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Plei Djereng, Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 January 1969. Private First Class Langhorn's platoon was inserted into a landing zone to rescue two pilots of a Cobra helicopter shot down by enemy fire on a heavily timbered slope. He provided radio coordination with the command-and-control aircraft overhead while the troops hacked their way through dense undergrowth to the wreckage, where both aviators were found dead. As the men were taking the bodies to a pickup site, they suddenly came under intense fire from North Vietnamese soldiers in camouflaged bunkers to the front and right flank, and within minutes they were surrounded. Private First Class Langhorn immediately radioed for help from the orbiting gunships, which began to place minigun and rocket fire on the aggressors. He then lay between the platoon leader and another man, operating the radio and providing covering fire for the wounded who had been moved to the center of the small perimeter. Darkness soon fell, making it impossible for the gunships to give accurate support, and the aggressors began to probe the perimeter. An enemy hand grenade landed in front of Private First Class Langhorn and a few feet from personnel who had become casualties. Choosing to protect these wounded, he unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, scooped it beneath his body and absorbed the blast. By sacrificing himself, he saved the lives of his comrades. Private First Class Langhorn's extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 19 (April 23, 1970)

Action Date: 15-Jan-69

Service: Army

Rank: Private First Class

Company: Troop C, 7th Squadron (Airmobile)

Regiment: 17th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade

Image and information courtesy of Capt. Allan L. Henderson



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