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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Platoon Sergeant Thomas W. Thornton Class of 2005

					Distinguished Flying Cross

United States Army

Bronze Star with "V" Device

For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force. Sergeant Thornton distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 21 November 1967 during the battle for Hill 875, near Dak To, Republic of Vietnam. On this day, Company A, 4th Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry engaged an estimated regimental sized force of North Vietnamese during the initial assault for the hill and almost immediately suffered ten to twelve friendly casualties from enemy mortar fire. Sergeant Thornton immediately volunteered for a patrol with the mission of moving over three hundred meters into enemy territory to rescue the wounded men. Moving through dense terrain Sergeant Thornton and his patrol came under sporadic enemy automatic weapons fire. They kept moving and finally reached the wounded men at a point between the enemy bunkers and the friendly perimeter. Sergeant Thornton immediately helped to administer medical aid to the wounded men and supervised their removal to the friendly perimeter. By now the enemy automatic weapons fire had increased and on several occasions Sergeant Thornton protected the wounded men with his own body, while at the same time placing effective suppressive fire on the enemy positions. After the last wounded man had been successfully rescued and returned to the company perimeter Sergeant Thornton moved to the point of heaviest contact and continued to inspire the men and direct their fire upon the enemy. The battalion surgeon later said that if Sergeant Thornton and the patrol had not rescued the wounded men many of the more seriously wounded would have surely died. Sergeant Thronton’s outstanding display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty, and personal bravery were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

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