John Bennett

Bennett

John was drafted by the Spanish Fork Draft Board into the Vietnam War. Fort Ord in Marina, California and Fort Benning in Georgia is where he did his training as part of the 11th B Infantry. In Vietnam, John was a soldier in the 173rd Airborne and this unit was one of the first units into An Khe. 173rd Airborne is also known as only having made the only mass combat jump in Vietnam.

We honor you, John Bennett.

(Submission written by: Lisa Mead, American Legion Post 112)

MCPO Jack Shimizu

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November 1969, after riverine warfare training in Vallejo, California; I detached and reported to rivers quadrant 13 in Vietnam in December 1969. I was reassigned to river division 131, located in the Mekong delta. The Home base was called Sea float/solid anchor, our home base is located in the middle of the San Cua Long River by South China Sea. Our mission is to patrol the river for enemy forces transiting the river. Therefore at night, we provide fire support. I was assigned as the boat captain in monitor patrol boat, code name M-2. The weapons on the M-2 consists of the 105 howitzer canon with the twin 50 caliber machine gun mounted on top of the howitzer, and with a 20 millimeter gun and numerous M-16 machine gun and small arms. we engaged the enemy daily and I was wounded in December 1970 while on patrol. Then I was medevac’d to a field hospital in Bien Theue and then to a medical hospital in Saigon. I was eventually transferred to the US Naval Hospital on Guam. I joined the US Navy July 1957 and retired July 1985 as a Master chief petty officer. I am from Dededo, Guam and married to the former Teresita A. Quintanilla and seven children.

We honor you, Jack Shimizu.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

Lt Col Fred Durant Bartleson Jr.

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Fred served in the Air Force in Headquarters, 315th Air Division. In addition to being awarded the Purple Heart, Captain Bartleson was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster) by distinguishing himself under heavy mortar and recoilless rifle fire during a Viet Cong attack on Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam on 13 April 1966. Although wounded in the left leg by shrapnel, Captain Bartleson refused medical aid and continued to supervise the remove of aircraft. In doing so, he saved seven C-130 aircraft from destruction.

We honor you, Fred Bartleson Jr.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

Maj George E. Day

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On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day’s conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

We honor you, George Day.

(#Repost @Congressional Medal of Honor Society)

SGT Jim Welsh

Welsh

Army, 1966-1969

Jim was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam era. He was a Battalion Heavy Equipment Operator and he also held the rank of Sergeant. Jim has been a Legionnaire for 48 years and he currently holds the position of Sergeant at Arms for Post 112.

We honor you, Jim Welsh

(Submission written by: Lisa Mead, American Legion Post 112)

CPT Ed Freeman

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Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, of Boise, Idaho, who distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone because of intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water, and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights, by providing the engaged units with supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, directly affected the battle’s outcome. Without them the units would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area because of intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing lifesaving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers-some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter, where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor and extraordinary perseverance were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

We honor you, Ed Freeman

(Submission by: Aubrey Jones. #Repost @Congressional Medal of Honor Society)

Leon Ruflin

Leon

Leon enlisted in the Army National Guard during the Vietnam conflict. He served at the Armory in Murray, UT while he was caring for his young family. Leon has since volunteered much time and effort in various post leadership capacities to enrich the lives of veterans and members of The American Legion Post 112.

We honor you, Leon.

(Submission written by: Lisa Mead, American Legion Post 112)