Episode 2717 – Vietnam Vet Air Force Col. William A. Jones III was a great one

Medal of Honor recipient Air Force Lt. Col. William A. Jones III , vietnam veteran  news, mack payne

Medal of Honor recipient Air Force Lt. Col. William A. Jones III

 Air Force Lt. Col. William A. Jones III’s damaged cockpit, , Vietnam Veteran news, mack payne

Air Force Lt. Col. William A. Jones III’s damaged cockpit, taken shortly after he landed back at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand.
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Episode 2717 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Marine Corps Vietnam Air Force Col. William A. Jones III and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Air Force Col. William A. Jones IIIs. It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that pain can often cloud your judgment, especially under extreme duress, but not for Air Force Col. William A. Jones III. As a pilot in Vietnam, he remained in control of his charred plane long enough to fly nearly 90 miles to relay information that would help save another pilot’s life. For his valiant effort, despite his many injuries, he earned the Medal of Honor.

Lange added this about Jones, Jones was born May 31, 1922, in Norfolk, Virginia. He grew up in the town of Warsaw before his family moved to Charlottesville at age 7. Jones’ mom was a teacher, his dad was an attorney and his grandfather, the senior William Jones, had been a U.S. representative who authored the bill that granted independence to the Philippines.

Jones finished high school early and went to the University of Virginia, where he graduated at age 19 with a degree in Spanish. From there, he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1942. At West Point, he was known to be determined, confident and a scholar who competed on the school’s fencing team.

Jones was commissioned into the Army Air Corps in 1945, eventually transitioning to the Air Force when it became its own service in 1947.

Listen to episode 2717 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Air Force Col. William A. Jones III and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2716 – Vietnam Vet Army Specialist 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr. was a great one

Army Spc. 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr., Medal of Honor recipient. , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army Spc. 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr., Medal of Honor recipient.

Episode 2716 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Army Specialist 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr. and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Army Specialist 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr. It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that Medics have one of the toughest jobs in the military — saving wounded comrades despite the danger they may face on the battlefield. Army Spec. 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr. understood that commitment; he gave his own life while trying to save several of his fellow platoon members in Vietnam. For his sacrifice, he earned the Medal of Honor.

Lange added this about McWethy Jr., McWethy was born Nov. 22, 1944, in Leadville, Colorado, to Edgar and Martha. Growing up, he was active in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed being a member of the Baptist church.

McWethy was 19 and working at the Leadville post office when he was drafted into the Army in 1964. He received training as a medical specialist and was attached to Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. His unit was sent to Vietnam on Sept. 21, 1966.

After hearing another call for help, McWethy got up again and ran through the exposed area. He was wounded in the head and knocked down, but he got up and kept going, only to be hit again in the leg. In pain, he continued pushing forward until he reached more injured comrades.

For his courage, the 21-year-old earned the Medal of Honor. President Richard M. Nixon presented the medal to McWethy’s family at the White House on Oct. 16, 1969.

Listen to episode 2716 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Army Specialist 5th Class Edgar McWethy Jr. and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2715 – Vietnam Vet Marine Corps Sgt. Rodney Davis was a great one

Marine Corps Sgt. Rodney M. Davis, Medal of Honor recipient. , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Marine Corps Sgt. Rodney M. Davis, Medal of Honor recipient.

The USS Rodney M. Davis, a guided-missile frigate, leaves port on Aug. 18, 1992., vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The USS Rodney M. Davis, a guided-missile frigate, leaves port on Aug. 18, 1992.

Episode 2715 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Marine Corps Vietnam Vet Sgt. Rodney Davis and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Marine Corps Sgt. Rodney Davis. It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that Marine Sgt. Rodney M. Davis had planned to make a career out of the Corps before the war in Vietnam started. Unfortunately, he never came back from his Southeast Asia deployment, but the bravery Davis showed there earned him the Medal of Honor and a legacy that wouldn’t be forgotten.

Lange added this about Davis, he was born April 7, 1942, in Macon, Georgia. His father, Gordon, served in the Navy during Davis’ childhood, so Davis often helped his older brother take care of their two younger brothers and sister.

Davis graduated from Peter G. Appling High School in May 1961. By the end of that summer, he had enlisted in the Marine Corps. He initially served as a rifleman at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, before doing a three-year tour of duty in England.

At some point during the early days of his military career, Davis married Judy Humphrey. They had two young girls by the time he was sent to serve with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam in August 1967.

In early September 1967, the 1st Marine Division was tasked with protecting locals in the southern part of the Que Song Valley from intimidation during upcoming elections. When one of its companies was attacked by a much larger North Vietnamese force, Davis’ unit, Company B, was called in to help fight the enemy.

Listen to episode 2715 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Marine Corps Sgt. Rodney Davis and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2714 – Vietnam Vet Army Staff Sgt. Robert Pruden was a great one

Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Pruden, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Pruden, Medal of Honor recipient.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Pruden takes a minute to rest while serving in Vietnam. , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Pruden takes a minute to rest while serving in Vietnam.

Episode 2713 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Army Staff Sgt. Robert Pruden and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Army Staff Sgt. Robert Pruden.  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that Army Staff Sgt. Robert Pruden volunteered to join the Army as the Vietnam War raged because he’d told his family he wanted to make a difference there. Pruden never returned from war, but he did make all the difference to the men in his unit who were able to come home because of him. For that selfless sacrifice, he earned the Medal of Honor.

Pruden was born Sept. 9, 1949, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was the second son to Lawrence and Marlys Pruden, who went on to have 11 more kids – four more boys and seven girls. As one of the elder children, Pruden helped out around the house, but he also had time to enjoy life, playing baseball, football and hockey.

Not long after Pruden graduated from Harding High School in 1967, he joined the Army. He went on to complete Ranger school and joined the Rangers of the 75th Infantry Regiment. His unit, Company G, was sent to Vietnam in early February 1969.

On Nov. 29, 1969, Pruden, a reconnaissance team leader, was on duty in the Quang Ngai Province of South Vietnam. His six-man team had been inserted by helicopter into Viet Cong-controlled territory. Their mission was to gain intelligence on enemy movements and set up an ambush position.

Listen to episode 2713 and discover more about Vietnam War Army Staff Sgt. Robert Prude and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2713 – Vietnam Vet Army Spec 5 Clarence Sasser is a great one

Army Spec 5th Class Clarence Sasser, Medal of Honor recipient., vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army Spec 5th Class Clarence Sasser, Medal of Honor recipient.

Episode 2713 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Army Spec 5 Clarence Sasser and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Army Spec 5 Clarence Sasser.  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that Sasser was born Sept. 12, 1947, and grew up in the small town of Rosharon, Texas, near Houston. He had a brother, a sister and four step-siblings that all lived on a farm with Sasser’s mother and his stepfather, a church deacon who helped raise him.

Sasser went to Marshall High School and was in one of the school’s last segregated classes. He played football and did well academically, graduating in 1965 near the top of his class.

Sasser enrolled at the University of Houston to study chemistry. He eventually switched to part-time so he could work to pay for classes, causing him to become eligible for the draft. So, when his number came up, instead of trying to gain college deferment, he joined the Army in June 1967.

Sasser trained as a medical aid man and knew pretty quickly that he would be going to Vietnam. He arrived in the country in late September 1967 when he was barely 20 years old.

Sasser hadn’t been in Vietnam for more than four months when he was put to the ultimate test as a medic with the 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.

Sasser was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service with the 9th Division. He said this about the award, “I don’t think what I did was above and beyond. I never have, and for a long time I had a problem with that,” Sasser said. “But finally … a friend helped me reconcile it to the point that it meant, ‘Hey, you did your job.'”

Listen to episode 2713 and discover more about Vietnam Army Spec 5 Clarence Sasser and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2712 – Vietnam Vet Army MSG Charles Hosking Jr. was a great one

Army Master Sgt. Charles E. Hosking Jr., , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army Master Sgt. Charles E. Hosking Jr., a Green Beret and Medal of Honor recipient.

Episode 2712 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Army MSG Charles Hosking Jr.and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Army MSG Charles Hosking Jr..  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that according to DoD documents, Army Master Sgt. Charles E. Hosking Jr. was on his third deployment to Vietnam during his 24th year of service when he was killed in action saving his fellow Special Forces soldiers. He unhesitatingly gave his life for theirs, and for that, he earned the Medal of Honor.

Throughout World War II, Hosking served with the famed 82nd Airborne Division in its 509th Parachute Battalion, including during the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded in the leg. He was lucky to be alive, though. According to the (Ridgewood, New Jersey) Sunday News newspaper, by the time the battalion disbanded, only 30 men of the initial 1,500 had survived.

Military records show Hosking remained in the service through Korea but never deployed to the conflict zone because of serious injuries he suffered during a bazooka training accident. After he recovered, he joined the newly created Special Forces and became a Green Beret. He served as a demolition expert and, after going to language school, became proficient in several languages.

On March 21, 1967, Army Sgt. 1st Class Hosking was serving as a company adviser for the III Corps Civilian Irregular Defense Group Reaction Battalion. At the time, his company was in the Don Luan District, west of Saigon, about 4 kilometers east of a Special Forces camp. While he was waiting to link up with another group of soldiers, disaster struck.

Listen to episode 2712 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Army MSG Charles Hosking Jr. and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2711 – Vietnam Vet Army SGT Gary Beikirch is a great one

Army Sgt. Gary B. Beikirch, Medal of Honor recipient. , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army Sgt. Gary B. Beikirch, Medal of Honor recipient.

Episode 2711 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Army SGT Gary Beikirch and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Army SGT Gary Beikirch.  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that according to DoD documents, Army Sgt. Gary Burnell Beikirch made a post-military career out of helping veterans and children — a passion he discovered while healing from wounds he suffered in Vietnam that left him temporarily paralyzed. During the battle where he earned those scars, Beikirch saved several wounded men. For that, he earned the Medal of Honor.

Lange also reported that Beikirch said he, his brother and his mother lived with various aunts and uncles over the next several years, moving so often that he’d attended 11 schools before he reached ninth grade. By that age, he was tired of the constant shuffle, so he moved in permanently with a close aunt and uncle in Greece, New York. He stayed there until he graduated high school.

Beikirch went to college in 1965 but dropped out after about two years. He decided he wanted to become a Green Beret, so he joined the Army in 1967, shortly before his 20th birthday. The young soldier was initially placed in an airborne infantry unit before going to Special Forces school. He eventually earned his Green Beret as a medic, a specialty he chose because he “wanted to help people more than anything else,” he said in a Library of Congress Veterans History Project interview.

By July 1969, Beikirch was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group and was sent to Vietnam. He became the chief medical officer of Detachment B-24, Company B, based at Special Forces Camp Dak Seang near the border of Laos in central South Vietnam.

Listen to episode 2711 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Army SGT Gary Beikirch and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2710 – Vietnam Vet Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris is a great one

Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris, Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient., vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris, Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient.

Navy Lt. Thomas Norris poses in Vietnam with Nguyễn Văn Kiệt, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Navy Lt. Thomas Norris poses in Vietnam with Nguyễn Văn Kiệt, the Vietnamese commando who accompanied Norris on the rescues of Air Force 1st Lt. Mark Clark and Lt. Col. Hambleton. Kiệt was one of five Vietnamese commandos to accompany Norris on the mission to find Clark. When the others refused to pursue the mission for Hambleton, Kiet still volunteered. Kiệt was the only South Vietnamese navy member to be awarded the Navy Cross for actions during the Vietnam War.

Episode 2710 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris.  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that according to DoD documents, When two American pilots were downed in enemy territory toward the end of the Vietnam War, numerous attempts to rescue them by other aircraft failed. That’s when Navy Lt. Thomas Rolland Norris was called in to lead a ground team to find them. Both missions were a success, and they earned the young Navy SEAL the Medal of Honor.

Lange also reported that Norris was born on Jan. 14, 1944, in Jacksonville, Florida, to Rolland and Irene Norris. He had two brothers, James and Kenneth. Since their dad was in the Navy, the family didn’t stay put for long. They moved to Michigan, Wisconsin and then to the Washington, D.C., area, where Norris graduated high school in 1963.

Norris graduated college in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology. Not long after that, when his student deferment from the Vietnam War draft wasn’t extended, he enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned as an officer.

On April 2, an Air Force EB-66 aircraft was shot down just below the DMZ. Air Force Lt. Col. Iceal “Gene” Hambleton, 53, was the only survivor, and he was trapped in the thick of the enemy offensive.

It decided that the only way to get to the pilot was by ground troops, so Norris was assigned to lead the rescue effort. Norris said he believed he was chosen because he was one of the few special operators remaining in the country who had worked with the Vietnamese teams involved. He was comfortable running operations with them.

Listen to episode 2710 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2709 – Vietnam Vet Marine Corps MAJ  GEN James Livingston is a great one

Marine Corps Capt. James Everett Livingston received the Medal of Honor in 1970 for actions he took during battle in Vietnam in 1968.

Marine Corps Capt. James Everett Livingston received the Medal of Honor in 1970 for actions he took during battle in Vietnam in 1968.

Episode 2709 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Livingston and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Navy Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Livingston.  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that according to DoD documents, Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Everett Livingston became a trusted commander during his more than three decades in the service. He learned leadership skills early in his career and put them to good use in 1968 when he helped liberate a Vietnamese village and save stranded Marines. For that, he earned the Medal of Honor.

Lange also reported that Livingston was born on Jan. 12, 1940, in rural Towns, Georgia. He and his brother, Donald, were raised on a 3,000-acre farm which they helped their parents, Myret and Ruth Livingston, work as much as possible.

Livingston received his draft notice during his junior year of college. He said he nearly joined the Army before meeting a Marine Corps recruiter who convinced him to join the Marines instead. So, in June 1962, after graduating with a civil engineering degree, Livingston was commissioned as a Marine second lieutenant.

By late April 1968, Livingston was serving as the commanding officer of Company E of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The battalion was positioned to the east of Dong Ha Combat Base.

A lot of Marines were lost during the Battle of Dai Do, but Livingston was one of the lucky ones. He was evacuated by helicopter to Hawaii and spent several months in a hospital. When he got back to his battalion in Okinawa, he learned that he had been nominated for the Navy Cross for their actions at Dai Do. Later, however, both nominations were upgraded to Medals of Honor.

Listen to episode 2709 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Livingston and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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Episode 2708 – Vietnam Vet Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard was a great one

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Donald Everett Ballard, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Donald Everett Ballard, Medal of Honor recipient.

Episode 2708 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Vietnam and Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard.  It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.

Lange, in her story, reported that according to DoD documents, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Donald Everett Ballard was trained to keep the Marines he was tasked with protecting alive during the Vietnam War — even at the expense of his own life. Thanks to a lucky explosives malfunction, though, Ballard survived his mission. But his actions showed the lengths he was willing to go to perform his duties, and that earned him the Medal of Honor.

Lange also reported that Ballard was born on Dec. 5, 1945, and raised around Kansas City, Missouri. He went to North Kansas City High School, where he was a member of the band and part of a co-operative work education program, according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.

Ballard worked in a dental laboratory after high school and said he wanted to attend college for dentistry, but he couldn’t get financial assistance to make it happen through scholarships or grants; so, he looked toward the military for educational benefits. Before joining, though, he got married and had a son and a daughter.

Ballard enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 27, 1965. Since he was interested in medicine, he became a hospital corpsman. He spent a few months working at a naval hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, before being sent  to join a Marine unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in October 1966.

In December 1967, Ballard was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division and sent to Vietnam.

Listen to episode 2708 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Navy Hospital Corpsman Donald Ballard and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.

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