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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Captain Stephen J. Chaney Class of 2013

Silver Star Medal

United States Army

Silver Star Medal

For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain Chaney distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 23 September 1969 while leading a reconnaissance patrol deep in enemy-controlled territory. Following helicopter insertion into the hostile area, Captain Chaney led his men in a careful search for signs of enemy movement. As the team moved cautiously through the enemy sanctuary, a footbridge crossing a narrow stream was spotted a short distance away. Captain Chaney instructed his men to take up defensive positions while he crawled close to the bridge. From there he observed a contingent of about fifteen enemy troops encamped across the stream. He then crawled back to his men and briefed them on a plan to call in air strikes on the unsuspecting enemy and then assault them while they were stunned and confused. When the helicopter gunships arrived over the enemy's position, Captain Chaney began directing and adjusting their fire on the foe. The rockets fired by the first gunship were exactly on target, but one rocket fired by the second gunship veered from its course and impacted near the reconnaissance team's position, wounding every member of the team and preventing the planned assault. Although critically wounded by flying shrapnel, Captain Chaney calmly remained in control of the situation. He informed the forward air controller of what had happened and requested that an extraction team be dispatched to evacuate his men. When the recovery team arrived, Captain Chaney, now extremely weak and close to expiring, was still in command of his men and anxious that they be promptly evacuated and given medical assistance. Captain Chaney, however, succumbed to his wounds before he reached rear medical facilities. Captain Chaney's gallantry in action, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.


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