MOH Holcomb

SGT John N. Holcomb*

Medal of Honor Citation

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division

Place and date: Near Quan Loi, Republic of Vietnam, 3 December 1968

Entered service at: Corvallis, Oregon

Born: 11 June 1946, Baker, Oregon

 

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SGT Holcomb distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader in Company D during a combat assault mission. SGT Holcomb’s company assault had landed by helicopter and deployed into a hasty defensive position to organize for a reconnaissance-in-force mission when it was attacked from 3 sides by an estimated battalion-size enemy force. SGT Holcomb’s squad was directly in the path of the main enemy attack. With complete disregard for the heavy fire, SGT Holcomb moved among his men giving encouragement and directing fire on the assaulting enemy. When his machine gunner was knocked out, SGT Holcomb seized the weapon, ran to a forward edge of the position, and placed withering fire on the enemy. His gallant actions caused the enemy to withdraw. SGT Holcomb treated and carried his wounded to a position of safety and reorganized his defensive sector despite a raging grass fire ignited by the incoming enemy mortar and rocket rounds. When the enemy assaulted the position a second time, SGT Holcomb again manned the forward machine gun, devastating the enemy attack and forcing the enemy to again break contact and withdraw. During the enemy withdrawal an enemy rocket hit SGT Holcomb’s position, destroying his machine gun and severely wounding him. Despite his painful wounds, SGT Holcomb crawled through the grass fire and exploding mortar and rocket rounds to move the members of his squad, everyone of whom had been wounded, to more secure positions. Although grievously wounded and sustained solely by his indomitable will and courage, SGT Holcomb as the last surviving leader of his platoon organized his men to repel the enemy, crawled to the platoon radio and reported the third enemy assault on his position. His report brought friendly supporting fires on the charging enemy and broke the enemy attack. SGT Holcomb’s inspiring leadership, fighting spirit, in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*Awarded posthumously

SGT John Noble Holcomb’s Medal of Honor was presented to his Family at the White House by President  Nixon on 16 February 1971.  He is buried at the Eagle Valley Cemetery, Richland, Oregon.

The Medal of Honor

Description: A gold five pointed star, each point tipped with trefoils, 1½ inches wide, surrounded by a green laurel wreath and suspended from a gold bar inscribed “VALOR”, surmounted by an eagle.  In the center of the star, Minerva’s head surrounded by the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”  On each ray of the star is a green oak leaf.  On the reverse is a bar engraved “THE CONGRESS TO” with a space for engraving the name of the recipient.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society web page: http://www.cmohs.org/
History of the Medal of Honor: http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/history.html
Medal of Honor – The History (A Vimeo Video Documentary Rivr Digital): https://vimeo.com/100896594

Highlights - CTA

Ghosts of Fallujah

Ghosts of Fallujah (written by Coley D. Tyler) is a first person account of the Second Battalion, Seventh Cavalry’s participation in the Second Battle of Fallujah, the largest single engagement of the Iraq War and the largest urban battle since Hue in 1968. A First Marine Division operation, it was spearheaded by one of the […]

Special Annoucements

Taps Update – 12 March 2019

12 March 2019 Added SGT Charles G. Buttram who died 2 February 2019, CPT Raymond D. Kinnard who died 25 December 2018, LTC (Ret) Louis R. Lefebvre who died 24 February 2019, 1LT Frederick I. Levine who died 11 December 2018, SSG Dennis C. London who died 26 February 2019, 1LT Bruce R. Markusen who […]