Congressional Medal of Honor
BONDSTEEL, JAMES LEROY
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
Place and Date and date: An Loc Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 May 1969
Entered service at: Detroit, Michigan
Born 18 July 1947, Jackson, Michigan
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Bondsteel distinguished himself while serving as a platoon sergeant with Company A, near the village of Lang Sau. Company A was directed to assist a friendly unit which was endangered by intense fire from a North Vietnamese battalion located in a heavily fortified base camp. S/Sgt. Bondsteel quickly organized the men of his platoon into effective combat teams and spear-headed the attack by destroying 4 enemy occupied bunkers. He then raced some 200 meters under heavy enemy fire to reach an adjoining platoon which had begun to falter. After rallying this unit and assisting their wounded S/Sgt Bondsteel returned to his own sector with critically needed munitions. Without pausing he moved to the forefront and destroyed 4 enemy occupied bunkers and a machine gun which had threatened his advancing platoon. Although painfully wounded by an enemy grenade, S/Sgt Bondsteel refused medical attention and continued his assault by neutralizing 2 more enemy bunkers nearby. While searching 1 of these emplacements S/Sgt Bondsteel, escaped death when an enemy soldier detonated a grenade. Shortly thereafter, he ran to the aid of a severely wounded officer and struck down an enemy soldier who was threatening the officer's life. S/Sgt. Bondsteel then continued to rally his men and led them through the entrenched enemy until his company was relieved. His exemplary leadership and great personal courage throughout the 4 hour battle ensured the success on his own and nearby units and resulted in the saving of numerous lives of his fellow soldiers. By individual acts of bravery he destroyed 10 enemy bunkers and accounted for a large toll of the enemy, including 2 key enemy commanders. His extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.