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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Captain John K. Taft Class of 2007

					Distinguished Flying Cross

United States Army

Distinguished Service Cross

For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain Taft distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 5 June 1969 while leading his company during a reconnaissance-in-force mission. As the unit’s lead platoon advanced into a jungle clearing, they were suddenly met with barrages of automatic weapons fire which instantly cut down a number of troopers. Captain Taft quickly moved from the rear of the company to an exposed position on the edge of the clearing where he surveyed the situation and radioed for artillery fire and gunship strikes on the enemy. Attempting to pull back without cover fire, the lead elements sustained additional casualties.

Captain Taft saw their plight and rushed out into the open to assist them. He laid down suppressive fire with his rifle which enabled several wounded to be withdrawn. He then returned to his observation point. While directing gunship fire on the enemy, he received a bullet wound in the head. He refused medical attention, and when he saw a comrade downed in the open, he dashed forward under intense fire and dragged the man to cover. The firefight raged on, and as he continued in his weakened state to train gunship strikes on the hostile troops, he received another bullet wound in the head. But Captain Taft refused evacuation and courageously remained in command of his men until all the wounded had been extracted and reinforcements had arrived. Captain Taft’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty 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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