Preserve the Legacy

Medal of Honor & Victoria Cross Recipient

Gordon D. Yntema - USA (MOH Citation)

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Gordon T. Yntema distinguished himself beyond the call of duty while assigned to Operational Detachment A-431, Company D, 5th Special Forces Group. As part of a larger blocking force of civilian irregulars from Camp Cai Cai, he accompanied two platoons to a blocking position east of the village of Thong Binh, where they became heavily engaged in a small-arms fight with the Viet Cong. Assuming control of the force when the Vietnamese company commander was seriously wounded, he advanced his troops to within 50 meters of the enemy bunkers. After a fierce 30-minute firefight, the enemy forced Sergeant Yntema to withdraw his men to a trench in order to afford them protection. Under cover of machinegun fire, approximately one company of Viet Cong maneuvered into a position, which pinned down the friendly platoons from three sides. A dwindling ammunition supply, coupled with the Viet Cong mortar barrage, which inflicted heavy losses on the exposed friendly troops, caused many of the irregulars to withdraw. Seriously wounded, and ordered to withdraw himself, Sergeant Yntema refused to leave his fallen comrades. Under withering small arms and machinegun fire, he carried the wounded Vietnamese commander and a mortally wounded Special Forces advisor to a small gully 50 feet away in order to shield them from the enemy fire. Sergeant Yntema then continued to repulse the attacking Viet Cong attempting to overrun his position until, out of ammunition and surrounded. He was offered to the opportunity to surrender. Refusing, Sergeant Yntema stood his ground using his rifle as a club to fight approximately 15 Viet Cong attempting his capture. His resistance was so fierce that the Viet Cong were forces to shoot him in order to overcome him. Sergeant Yntema’s personal bravery in the face of insurmountable odds and supreme self sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects the utmost credit upon himself, the 1st Special Forces Regiment, and the U.S. Army.