Armando Garza Leal, Jr

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
United States Navy
20 September 1946 - 04 September 1967
San Antonio, Texas
Panel 25E Line 103


Navy Cross

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Armando Garza Leal, Jr

Armando G Leal

27 May 2002

To my friend who was always there for me.
You may be Gone, but You are not Forgotten.

JohnJohn Sabala

Navy Cross
Armando Garza Leal, Jr
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
United States Navy

For extraordinary heroism on 4 September 1967 while serving as corpsman with the Second Platoon, Company "M", Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), FMF, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam.

During Operation SWIFT, the Second Platoon was providing security for the Battalion Command Group when the platoon came under heavy enemy fire. Petty Officer (then Hospitalman) Leal ran through the fire-swept area, and began administering first aid to several casualties who were directly exposed to grazing fire. Although constantly exposed to heavy fire, and painfully wounded himself, he rendered aid for two hours to wounded Marines who were located between friendly and enemy lines. He refused to be evacuated in order that he might continue his mission of mercy. While treating his comrades and moving them to protected areas, Petty Officer Leal was severely wounded for a second time and, despite being immobilized, calmly continued to aid his wounded comrades. A Marine tried to drag him to a covered position, but was shot in the hand and, at that time, Petty Officer Leal received a third wound. Petty Officer Leal pushed the Marine and told him to take cover from the assaulting enemy whom they both could see. Suddenly a North Vietnamese soldier fired a machine gun from close range, mortally wounding Petty Officer Leal.

Through his swift actions and professional skill in aiding and protecting the wounded, he significantly eased the suffering and undoubtedly saved the lives of several of his comrades. His exceptional courage and unfaltering dedication to duty in the face of great personal risk were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Father Vincent Capodonno
whose bravery merited the Medal of Honor
died while trying to reach Petty Officer Leal.

Petty Officer Armando G. Leal
is remembered by the men of the
3/5 Marines

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 04 Sep engagement described in Petty Officer Leal's Citation occurred at Chau Lam (1), 5 kilometers east of Que Son, during Operation SWIFT. Seventeen Marines and sailors are known to have died in the engagement:
  • H&S Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines
    • LT Vincent R. Capodanno, Honolulu, HI (Medal of Honor)
    • HM3 Armando G. Leal, San Antonio, TX (Navy Cross)
    • HN James C. O'Reilly, Brighton, MA

  • M Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines
    • Sgt Lawrence D. Peters, Binghamton, NY (Medal of Honor)
    • LCpl Jack A. Berry, Lubbock, TX
    • LCpl Steven T. Cornell, New York, NY
    • LCpl Thomas W. Fisher, Allentown, PA (Navy Cross)
    • LCpl Andrew M. Giordano, Smithtown, NY (Silver Star)
    • LCpl Richard Guerrero, Corpus Christi, TX
    • LCpl Albert W. Santos, Fall River, MA
    • Pfc Dennis F. Fisher, Alta Loma, CA
    • Pfc Tony E. Gabaldon, Reedley, CA
    • Pfc Raymond G. Hengels, Downers Grove, IL
    • Pfc Charles F. Martin, Littleton, CO
    • Pfc James C. McKenzie, Yorba Linda, CA
    • Pfc Gene A. Mortensen, Salt Lake City, UT
    • Pfc Steven J. Wright, Norco, CA
Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business
than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 May 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009