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Sergeant Ervin E. Powell
Class of 2003

Navy Commendation Medal

United States Army



Sergeant Ervin E. Powell. For gallantry in action against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Sergeant Powell distinguished himself by intrepid actions on 9 January 1971 while serving as a Radio Telephone Operator with Company E, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry. On that date, the company was conducting a reconnaissance patrol in Tien Phuoc District when it was assaulted by an unknown size North Vietnamese Army force. Ignoring his painful wounds suffered in the initial exchange of fire, Sergeant Powell placed highly effective suppressive rounds on the hostile emplacements and began maneuvering to close with the insurgents. Denying himself medical attention, he repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy barrage in order to reach a wounded comrade and administer emergency first aid to the friendly casualty. Ignoring the danger involved, Sergeant Powell unhesitatingly braved the hostile fusillade in order to move his fellow soldier to a secure position and immediately rejoined the assault. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he occupied a strategic position and provided his fellow soldiers with devastating volumes of cover fire enabling his element to rout the insurgents from the area. Through his timely and courageous actions, Sergeant Powell was responsible for saving the life of a wounded comrade and the expeditious defeat of the determined enemy force. His personal heroism, professional competence and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 23rd Infantry Division and the United States Army.





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