Congressional Medal of Honor
GUENETTE, PETER M. *
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company D, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
Place and Date and date: Quan Tan Uyen Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 May
Entered service at: Albany, New York
Born 4 January 1948, Troy, New York
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, Sp4c. Guenette distinguished himself while serving as a machine gunner with Company D, during combat operations. While Sp4c. Guenette's platoon was sweeping a suspected enemy base camp, it came under light harassing fire from a well equipped and firmly entrenched squad of North Vietnamese Army regulars which was serving as a delaying force at the entrance to their base camp. As the platoon moved within 10 meters of the fortified positions, the enemy fire became intense. Sp4c. Guenette and his assistant gunner immediately began to provide a base of suppressive fire, ceasing momentarily to allow the assistant gunner time to throw a grenade into a bunker. Seconds later, an enemy grenade was thrown to Sp4c. Guenette's right flank. Realizing that the grenade would kill or wound at least 4 men and destroy the machine gun, he shouted a warning and smothered the grenade with his body, absorbing its blast. Through his actions, he prevented loss of life or injury to at least 3 men and enabled his comrades to maintain their fire superiority. By his gallantry at the cost of his life in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, Sp4c. Guenette has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.