Medal of Honor

 Presentation:  To His Family at the White House

     By President Richard M. Nixon - Apr 07, 1970

Buried at:  East Oak Grove Cemetery - Morgantown, West Virginia

 

 

BENNETT, THOMAS W. * ( Conscientious Objector )

 

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 2d Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry

 

Place and date: Chu Pa Region. Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam, 9-11 February 1969

 

Entered service at: Fairmont, West Virginia

 

Born: 7 April 1947, Morgantown, West Virginia

 

Citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Cpl. Bennett distinguished himself while serving as a platoon medical aidman with the 2d Platoon, Company B, during a reconnaissance-in-force mission. On 9 February the platoon was moving to assist the 1st Platoon of Company D, which had run into a North Vietnamese ambush, when it became heavily engaged by the intense small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket fire from a well fortified and numerically superior enemy unit. In the initial barrage of fire, 3 of the point members of the platoon fell wounded. Cpl. Bennett, with complete disregard for his safety, ran through the heavy fire to his fallen comrades, administered life-saving first aid under fire and then made repeated trips carrying the wounded men to positions of relative safety from which they would be medically evacuated from the battle position. He valiantly exposed himself to the heavy fire in order to retrieve the bodies of several personnel. Throughout the night and following day, Cpl. Bennett moved from position to position treating and comforting the several personnel who had suffered shrapnel and gunshot wounds. On 11 February, Company B again moved in an assault on the well fortified enemy positions and became heavily engaged with the numerically superior enemy force. 5 members of the company fell wounded in the initial assault. Cpl. Bennett ran to their aid without regard to the heavy fire. He treated 1 wounded comrade and began running toward another seriously wounded man. Although the wounded man was located forward of the company position covered by heavy enemy grazing fire and Cpl. Bennett was warned that it was impossible to reach the position, he leaped forward with complete disregard for his safety to save his comrade's life. In attempting to save his fellow soldier, he was mortally wounded. Cpl. Bennett's undaunted concern for his comrades at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

 

     At a special ceremony in Morgantown, West Virginia on the afternoon of Friday, November 3, 2000, the Family of Thomas W. Bennett presented his Medal of Honor to West Virginia University.  

 

 

PEACEFUL PATRIOT

"A Scouting Family"

Jim, George and Tom Bennett*

with their parents, Kermit and Gale Gray

521 Junior Avenue

Morgantown, West Virginia.

(Photo taken about 1956)

 * Thomas Bennett is the little boy on the right.

 

Thanks to Robert B. Miller < rbbmiller40@comcast.net > , brother of Gale Bennett, Thomas Bennett's mother, for the memorabilia. On 7 January 2000, he writes:

Neil, I am enclosing a photo of Tom with his two older brothers, Jim and George, and their parents that I took in about 1956. Gale was their mother, and my sister. She died just a few years ago. Their biological father, Thurman Bennett, died from Hodgkin's Disease when Tom was about five years old. Gale remarried in 1954 to Kermit Gray. He was a good husband as well as a great dad for the boys. He is also gone now."

 

Other Readings:

Chu Pa Operations. 11-15 February 1969 After Action Report: http://1-14th.com/chupaaar.htm

Chu Pa "IVY LEAF" Articles dated 2 March 1969: http://1-14th.com/chupaNews1.htm

Peaceful Patroit, The Story of Tom Bennett ($15 including postage)by Bonni McKeown, P.O. Box M, Capon Springs WV 26823. Tel. 304-874-3887 barrelhbonni@hotmail.com

 

 


 

--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: BENNETT

First name: THOMAS WILLIAM

Home of Record (official): MORGANTOWN

State (official): WV

Date of Birth: Monday, April 7, 1947

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Army

Rank: CPL

Serial Number: 51908201

Component: Selective Service

Pay grade: E3 Posthumous promotion as indicated

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 91A10

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Wednesday, January 8, 1969

Date of Casualty: Tuesday, February 11, 1969

Age at time of loss: 21

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Pleiku

The Wall: Panel 32W - Row 010


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