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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Staff Sergeant Patrick M. McLaughlin
Class of 2004

Navy Commendation Medal

United States Army



Staff Sergeant Patrick M. McLaughlin. For gallantry in action against a hostile force:
On 29 October 1967, during Operation Shenandoah II, Sergeant McLaughlin, Company C, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry was serving as a squad leader on a search and destroy mission in a dense rubber plantation near Loc Ninh. A friendly patrol had made contact with a large Viet Cong force approximately 1 kilometer from the battalion’s night defensive perimeter and was in need of reinforcements and supplies. Sergeant McLaughlin immediately volunteered to lead a squad of the relief force. Upon reaching the battle site, they were subjected to intensive rocket, machine gun, and automatic weapons fire. Sergeant McLaughlin unhesitatingly moved through a hail of incoming fire to the front of his squad. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he remained in the open and deployed his men into advantageous firing positions. Ignoring relentless enemy fire, he moved about the area shouting words of encouragement to his men and directing devastating fire onto the insurgents. On one occasion the Viet Cong attempted to breach the hastily formed perimeter. Although the enemy closed to within meters of his position, Sergeant McLaughlin refused to withdraw and engaged them in extremely close combat. After a fierce battle, the hostile force retreated in complete disorder. Sergeant McLaughlin’s dynamic leadership and exemplary courage significantly contributed to the overwhelming defeat of the enemy. Staff Sergeant McLaughlin’s unquestionable valor in close combat against numerically superior hostile forces is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

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