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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Master Sergeant John E. Kessling
Class of 2004

Navy Commendation Medal

United States Army



Master Sergeant John E. Kessling. For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Master Sergeant Kessling distinguished himself by heroic actions on 2 and 4 March 1965, while serving as advisor to a friendly force in the Republic of Vietnam. During the course of an extended patrol the friendly force was ambushed by a Viet Cong force from well prepared positions. Immediately Sergeant Kessling organized a force utilizing personnel not committed and led this force in an assault against the enemy position. Subsequently, when the patrol was again ambushed he immediately organized a force that neutralized the enemy assault. Throughout the entire operation Sergeant Kessling maintained a position where he could best observe and direct the defensive efforts of the friendly force, until he was wounded by the Viet Cong. Sergeant Kessling’s leadership ability throughout the engagement was of great benefit and was an inspiration to the friendly forces. Sergeant Kessling’s heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

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