The President of the United States|
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the
MEDAL OF HONOR
William David Port
for service as set forth in the following
Sergeant (then PFC)
Army of the United States
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Port distinguished himself while serving as a rifleman with Company C, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry, which was conducting combat operations against an enemy force in the Que Son Valley. As Sergeant Port's platoon was moving to cut off a reported movement of enemy soldiers, the platoon came under heavy fire from an entrenched enemy force. The platoon was forced to withdraw due to the intensity and ferocity of the fire. Although wounded in the hand as the withdrawal began, Sergeant Port, with complete disregard for his safety, ran through the heavy fire to assist a wounded comrade back to the safety of the platoon perimeter. As the enemy forces assaulted the perimeter, Sergeant Port and 3 comrades were in position behind an embankment when an enemy grenade landed in their midst. Sergeant Port, realizing the danger to his fellow soldiers, shouted the warning, "Grenade," and unhesitatingly hurled himself towards the grenade to shield his comrades from the explosion. Through his exemplary courage and devotion he saved the lives of his fellow soldiers and gave the members of his platoon the inspiration needed to hold their position. Sergeant Port's selfless concern for his comrades, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Notes from The Virtual Wall
As noted above, on 12 January 1968 a platoon of C Company, 5/7th Cavalry, was engaged by enemy troops and forced to withdraw pending reinforcements with four men missing. When the C Company troopers returned to the field of battle they recovered three of the men, but could not locate the body of then-PFC William D. Port, who was known to have thrown himself on a hand grenade and who was believed dead. The four men were
Much later the North Vietnamese provided a listing of prisoners who had died in captivity; PFC Port's name was on that list with a date of death of 27 November 1968. His capture and subsequent death while a POW were confirmed when Captain Floyd H. Kushner and Warrant Officer Francis G. Anton were repatriated on 16 March 1973 - they were with PFC Port when he died. He was buried in a common grave with (reportedly) eight other U. S. prisoners.
- SSG Benjamin F. McClary, Philadelphia, PA
- SGT Lee R. Danielson, Cadott, WI
- SGT William D. Port, Elizabethtown, PA
- CPL James Castaldi, Camden, NJ
In 1985 a joint US-Vietnamese team excavated the grave site and recovered human remains. These remains were among those released to the United States on 14 August 1985. Over the next several months, 24 missing Americans were identified - 11 Naval aviators, 8 Air Force fliers, 1 Marine infantryman, and 4 soldiers. William D. Port was one of the soldiers. He is buried in Section 7, Arlington National Cemetery.