A Note from The Virtual Wall
On 13 November 1966 the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, was conducting search operations a short distance away from Landing Zone Lane in southwestern Kontum Province. In late morning Alpha Company encountered enemy forces and entered into a heavy exchange of fire. After a brief lull in the fighting Alpha 1/14 was engaged by a North Vietnamese Army battalion. Forced into a defensive perimeter, Alpha took heavy casualties before Charlie Company was able to come up, engage the NVA from their rear, and force the NVA from the area. Sixteen American soldiers are known to have died in the engagement:
A complete description of the battle southwest of LZ Lane can be found on the
1st of the 14th Infantry
- A Company:
- CPT Joseph X. Grant, Arlington, MA (Medal of Honor)
- 1LT Terence D. O'Brien, Vicksburg, MS (Dist Svc Cross)
- SSG Clarence L. Casto, Jefferson, OH
- SGT Aaron Blanding, Manning, SC
- SP4 Edward Carrola, Sacramento, CA
- SP4 John R. Schultz, Naugatuck, CT
- SP4 William F. Sperry, Augusta, GA
- SP4 Donald C. Vaughan, Modesto, CA
- SP4 Ralph O. Watts, Ayer, MA
- PFC Robert W. Hatton, Hamilton, OH
- PFC James R. Northern, Fullerton, CA
- PFC Louis W. Potempa, Philadelphia, PA
- PFC Terry L. Weber, Albion, IN
- PVT Samuel D. Danna, Temple City, CA
- C Company:
- SP4 Fred R. Lider, Oakland, CA
- PFC Mozie L. Cole, Canton, MS
MOH To 25th Soldier
WASHINGTON (ANF) - Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor presented the Medal of Honor posthumously Nov. 20 to the widow of U.S. Army CPT Joseph X. Grant for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in Vietnam" at the cost of his life.
Secretary Resor, acting for the President, and in the name of Congress, presented the Nation's highest award for valor to Mrs. Bok Soon Grant of Brooklyn, N.Y., during ceremonies at the Pentagon.
Grant was cited for distinguishing himself Nov. 13, 1966, against the enemy in the vicinity of Plei Djereng, Vietnam, while leading a platoon of Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, engaged in Operation PAUL REVERE IV.
A first lieutenant at the time of his heroic acts, Grant's unit was on a search-and-clear operation when a fierce firefight began.
The enemy attacked using "human wave" assaults, in an attempt to overwhelm Grant's force. Seeing a platoon leader wounded, Grant went to his aid, in the face of massive fire, and moved him to a more secure position.
During this action, even though Grant was wounded himself, he charged an enemy machinegun to destroy the weapon and its crew and rescued another soldier.
Later, while leading a rescue party to save four other wounded, Grant was killed by an enemy mortar round.
Grant, the 14th U.S. Army serviceman to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam, was born in Cambridge, Mass., in March 1940.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 1958, and received a commission after completing the Officer Candidate Course, at the U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga., in April 1964.
TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS
an authorized publication of the 25th Infantry Division
Vol 3 No. 01
January 1, 1968
The President of the United States|
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the
MEDAL OF HONOR
JOSEPH XAVIER GRANT
for service as set forth in the following
United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Company A was participating in a search and destroy operation when the leading platoon made contact with the enemy and a fierce fire-fight ensued. Capt. Grant was ordered to disengage the 2 remaining platoons and to maneuver them to envelop and destroy the enemy. After beginning their movement, the platoons encountered intense enemy automatic weapons and mortar fire from the front and flank. Capt. Grant was ordered to deploy the platoons in a defensive position. As this action was underway, the enemy attacked, using "human wave'' assaults, in an attempt to literally overwhelm Capt. Grant's force. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Capt. Grant moved under intense fire along the hastily formed defensive line repositioning soldiers to fill gaps created by the mounting casualties and inspiring and directing the efforts of his men to successfully repel the determined enemy onslaught. Seeing a platoon leader wounded, Capt. Grant hastened to his aid, in the face of the mass of fire of the entire enemy force, and moved him to a more secure position. During this action, Capt. Grant was wounded in the shoulder. Refusing medical treatment, he returned to the forward part of the perimeter, where he continued to lead and to inspire his men by his own indomitable example. While attempting to evacuate a wounded soldier, he was pinned down by fire from an enemy machinegun. With a supply of hand grenades, he crawled forward under a withering hail of fire and knocked out the machinegun, killing the crew, after which he moved the wounded man to safety. Learning that several other wounded men were pinned down by enemy fire forward of his position, Capt. Grant disregarded his painful wound and led 5 men across the fire-swept open ground to effect a rescue. Following return of the wounded men to the perimeter, a concentration of mortar fire landed in their midst and Capt. Grant was killed instantly. His heroic actions saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the task force to repulse the vicious assaults and defeat the enemy. Capt. Grant's actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Army.