Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Forty years ago Monday, Leslie Sabo of Ellwood City died in Cambodia while trying to save his buddies from a North Vietnamese ambush that killed seven of his 101st Airborne Division comrades. The 22-year-old was recommended posthumously for the nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. He never got it.
Somehow the citation ended up lost in military bureaucracy and then forgotten until 1999, when a writer for the 101st Division association magazine came across Mr. Sabo’s records at the National Archives. Now, through his efforts and those of two members of Congress, the Army has again recommended that Mr. Sabo receive the medal.
“This brave soldier clearly distinguished himself through his courageous actions,” wrote Secretary of the Army John McHugh in a March letter to Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, who pushed for the medal. “The Army and our nation are forever grateful for his heroic service.” MORE FROM THIS SOURCE…
FOX NEWS...Vietnam War hero Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. to get posthumous Medal of Honor. Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr., who died in 1970 while saving the lives of his fellow troops during the Vietnam War, has been cleared to receive a posthumous Medal of Honor after a decades-long wait by his family.
The White House announced Monday that President Obama would honor Sabo’s heroic service with the military’s highest honor at an upcoming ceremony. Sabo died on May 10, 1970, while serving as a rifleman in Cambodia. That day, his platoon was ambushed by enemy forces and Sabo charged the enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers.
His actions drew fire away from his fellow soldiers and forced a retreat of enemy forces. A grenade later landed near where he was resupplying and he threw it away and shielded a wounded comrade with his body, saving his life. He crawled toward the enemy encampment, threw a grenade into the bunker, which ended the enemy fire but also killed Sabo. He was 22. MORE FROM THIS SOURCE..
Sgt. Leslie H. Sabo jr. Company B, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division Vietnam. Sgt. Leslie H. Sabo jr., Born 23 February 1948 – Died 10 May 1970 from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania to receive Medal of Honor.
101st Airborne 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry participated in Operation Binh Tay I in the border area of Cambodia during the period 05 through 18 May 1970: “On 10 May Bravo Company engaged the largest enemy force of the Cambodian campaign for the 3-506 in a struggle that lasted nearly two days. The day started for B Company when it discovered a hospital complex with numerous hootches and a multitude of food stuff and 2 tons of rice.
At 1113H, YA458540 light contact was made with a unknown size force and negative results for B Company elements. The unit moved forward, aware that the enemy was in the area in strength.
“The first platoon was left as a reserve force while the second and third platoons with the CP moved cautiously forward. At vic YA458540 1515H an estimated battalion of concealed NVA opened up on the two Bravo platoons. The Bravo units returned fire and maneuvered for cover. Several assaults on enemy fortified positions and numerous acts of individual heroism resulted in establishing a hasty defensive position.
From this posture air strikes and gunships were employed along with organic artillery support. By dark the company began to run dangerously short of ammunition, and the first platoon in a courageous assault broke through encircling NVA to bring reinforcements and resupply for their strategically engaged comrades.
“On 11 May D Company linked up with B Company at YA453540 and secured an LZ for extraction of Bravo to FSB Currahee. The unit had sustained 8 killed and 28 wounded while fighting off the massed attacks of two NVA companies.”
The eight men who died in the actions on 10 May were;
Lawrence N. De Boer, Grand Rapids, MI
James E. Debrew, Whitakers, NC
Frederick W. Harms, Peoria, IL
Thomas B. Merriman, Paulding, OH
Ernest L. Moore, Spring Lake, MI
Donald W. Smith, Rantoul, IL
Leslie J. Wilbanks, Gila Bend, AZ
According to eyewitness accounts, Sgt. Leslie H. Sabo jr. singlehandedly prevented two U.S. Army platoons, about 80 soldiers, from being surrounded by a numerically superior North Vietnamese force. Sgt. Leslie H. Sabo jr. also reportedly used his body to shield another soldier from a grenade blast and ultimately died while providing covering fire for a helicopter evacuating two injured soldiers.
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com