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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Specialist Four Joseph G. LaPointe, Jr. Class of 2008

Medal of Honor

United States Army

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded posthumously in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to SPECIALIST FOUR JOSEPH G. LaPOINTE, JR. UNITED STATES ARMY for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Specialist Four Joseph G. LaPointe, Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division, distinguished himself on June 2, 1969, while serving as a medical aidman during a combat helicopter assault mission in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam. Specialist LaPointe’s patrol was advancing from the landing zone through an adjoining valley when it suddenly encountered heavy automatic weapons fire from a large enemy force entrenched in well fortified bunker positions. In the initial hail of fire two soldiers in the formation vanguard were seriously wounded. Hearing a call for aid from one of the wounded, Specialist LaPointe ran forward through heavy fire to assist his fallen comrades. To reach the wounded men, he was forced to crawl directly in view of an enemy bunker. As members of his unit attempted to provide covering fire, he administered first aid to one man, shielding the other with his body. He was hit by a burst of fire from the bunker while attending the wounded soldier. In spite of his own painful wounds, Specialist LaPointe continued his lifesaving duties until he was again wounded and knocked to the ground. Making strenuous efforts, he moved back into a shielding position to continue administering first aid. An exploding enemy grenade mortally wounded all three men. Specialist LaPointe’s courageous actions at the cost of his own life were an inspiration to his comrades. His conspicuous gallantry, intrepidity and selflessness are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the United States army.

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