MOH Recipient James C. McCloughan

 In Military, Veterans

On July 31, President Trump presented his first Medal of Honor to Vietnam Veteran James C McCloughan, 71, at a White House Ceremony.

Though we wrote about the MOH recipient prior to his award, some special moments were worth reporting.

Spc Jim McCloughan was joined at the ceremony by 10 of his battle buddies from C Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. President Trump asked them to stand as they received applause.

May 13, 1969  Nui Yon Hill, Vietnam

The Chicago Tribune reported,

“… McCloughan’s platoon sustained heavy casualties when they were ambushed by a larger North Vietnamese force while scouting a nearby hill. With U.S. airstrikes falling nearby, he left his weapon behind and ran toward two unarmed soldiers who were pinned down. 

While assessing them for injuries, McCloughan was sprayed with shrapnel from the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade. He carried the men to safety despite his wounds…” 

Even after being ordered to evacuate, he stayed on the battle lines.

“I would have rather died on the battlefield than know that men died because they did not have a medic.” Jim McCloughan

May 14, 1969

He ran through the crossfire to save men: a man who had been shot in the stomach, one who was shot in the shoulder, four or five others who needed help. McCloughan carried them to a trench in spite of bleeding from his own wounds.

His bravery saved the lives of ten American soldiers, and patched up many more.

When they ran short on supplies, he volunteered to run into the middle of an open field with a red light to signal for an air drop that never came. There were only 39 men of his company left at the end of the battle. They started with 89. The enemy had 2,000 troops.

May 15, 1969 Early morning reported,

During the morning darkness of May 15, Private 1st Class McCloughan knocked out a rocket propelled grenade position with a grenade, fought and eliminated enemy soldiers and treated numerous casualties while organizing medevac helicopter runs.



How was he able to do all of that? Jim says it was sports- athletics- that helped him with mental discipline and focus. He stated he didn’t think twice, he just acted. In spite of his wounds, in spite of the odds against him, surrounded by enemy fire, he did what he had to do during 48 hours of hell. That he survived at all is something of  a miracle.

“For over two centuries, our brave men and women in uniform have overcome tyranny, fascism, communism, and every single threat – they’ve overcome. And we’ve overcome these threats because of titans like Jim, whose spirit could never be conquered…Today, to 320 million grateful American hearts, [he] carries one title, and that title is ‘hero.'” President Donald Trump, July 31, 2017


Featured picture: Screenshot via Military Times

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