Medal of Honor
STEWART, JIMMY G.
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Company B, 2d
Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Republic of Vietnam
18 May 1966
Entered service at: Ashland, KY
Born: 25 December
1942, West Columbia, WV
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the
risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Early in the morning a reinforced
North Vietnamese company attacked Company B, which was manning a defensive
perimeter in Vietnam.
The surprise onslaught wounded 5 members of a 6-man squad caught in the direct
path of the enemy's thrust. S/Sgt. Stewart became a lone defender of vital
terrain--virtually 1 man against a hostile platoon. Refusing to take advantage
of a lull in the firing which would have permitted him to withdraw, S/Sgt.
Stewart elected to hold his ground to protect his fallen comrades and prevent
an enemy penetration of the company perimeter. As the full force of the
platoon-sized man attack struck his lone position, he fought like a man
possessed; emptying magazine after magazine at the determined, on-charging
enemy. The enemy drove almost to his position and hurled grenades, but S/Sgt.
Stewart decimated them by retrieving and throwing the grenades back. Exhausting
his ammunition, he crawled under intense fire to his wounded team members and
collected ammunition that they were unable to use. Far past the normal point of
exhaustion, he held his position for 4 harrowing hours and through 3 assaults,
annihilating the enemy as they approached and before they could get a foothold.
As a result of his defense, the company position held until the arrival of a
reinforcing platoon which counterattacked the enemy, now occupying foxholes to
the left of S/Sgt. Stewart's position. After the counterattack, his body was
found in a shallow enemy hole where he had advanced in order to add his fire to
that of the counterattacking platoon. Eight enemy dead were found around his
immediate position, with evidence that 15 others had been dragged away. The
wounded whom he gave his life to protect, were
recovered and evacuated. S/Sgt. Stewart's indomitable courage, in the face of
overwhelming odds, stands as a tribute to himself and an inspiration to all men
of his unit. His actions were in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and
the Armed Forces of his country.
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