James M. Stone
First Lieutenant Infantry
Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
7 January 1968
Republic of Vietnam
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam:
First Lieutenant Stone distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 January 1968 as commanding officer of an airmobile infantry company on a search and destroy operation in the Que Son Valley. A sister unit had become heavily engaged in combat with a North Vietnamese Army battalion, and Lieutenant Stone led his men to reinforce the beleaguered troops. His company was savagely attacked with mortars and encircled by the enemy. He then directed maneuver elements of his unit to link up with an enveloped platoon of the second company while he led a furious assault against the numerically superior enemy. His slashing attack momentarily disorganized the hostile force and enabled the trapped platoon to move from its untenable position. As the enemy fusillade increased, Lieutenant Stone joined forces with the sister unit’s main body, deployed his men in abandoned trenches and directed devastating return fire on the attackers. As the intensity of the fight increased, it became necessary for the friendly force to break out of the enemy encirclement or face possible annihilation. Fully exposing himself to a withering hostile barrage, Lieutenant Stone called suppressing artillery fire against North Vietnamese positions and supervised the preparation of the wounded for movement. Braving ravaging mortar and recoilless rifle fire, he then directed his troops’ savage assault on the enemy lines. With bullets striking all around him, he led the fierce charge along a North Vietnamese trench line and his men succeeded in breaking the encirclement. He was mortally wounded while fearlessly leading his company in close combat against a determined enemy force. First Lieutenant Stone’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.