Eugene Ashley, Jr. (October 12, 1930 or 1931 – February 7, 1968) was a United States Army Special Forces soldier and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley, Jr. (ASN: 12392673), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Detachment A-101, Company C, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Lang Vei, Republic of Vietnam, on 6 and 7 February 1968. Sergeant First Class Ashley was the senior special forces Advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission was to rescue entrapped U.S. special forces advisors at Camp Lang Vei. During the initial attack on the special forces camp by North Vietnamese army forces, Sergeant First Class Ashley supported the camp with high explosive and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing air strikes and artillery support. Sergeant First Class Ashley organized and equipped a small assault force composed of local friendly personnel. During the ensuing battle, Sergeant First Class Ashley led a total of five vigorous assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous hail of enemy grenades, machinegun and automatic weapons fire. Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous booby-trapped satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself to intense enemy fire, he was seriously wounded by machinegun fire but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety. After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sergeant First Class Ashley displayed extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer. His total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation and automatic weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed to the assault. The resolute valor with which he led five gallant charges placed critical diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped to freedom. Sergeant First Class Ashley’s bravery at the cost of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States
Oscar Palmer Austin (January 15, 1949 – February 23, 1969) was a United States Marine who posthumously received his nation’s highest military honor — the Medal of Honor — for heroism and sacrifice of his own life in Vietnam in February 1969.
Oscar Palmer Austin
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Company E, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, (Rein), FMF. Place and Date: West of Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, 23 February 1969.
Entered Service at: Phoenix, Ariz.
Born :15 January 1948, Nacogdoches, Tex.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an assistant machine gunner with Company E, in connection with operations against enemy forces. During the early morning hours Pfc. Austin’s observation post was subjected to a fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force supported by a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges, and small arms fire. Observing that 1 of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to the hostile fire, Pfc. Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his safety, raced across the fire-swept terrain to assist the marine to a covered location. As he neared the casualty, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby and, reacting instantly, leaped between the injured marine and the lethal object, absorbing the effects of its detonation. As he ignored his painful injuries and turned to examine the wounded man, he saw a North Vietnamese Army soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion. With full knowledge of the probable consequences and thinking only to protect the marine, Pfc. Austin resolutely threw himself between the casualty and the hostile soldier, and, in doing, was mortally wounded. Pfc. Austin’s indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.