Medal of Honor
McCLEERY, FINNIS D.
Rank and organization: Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th U.S. Infantry
Place and date: Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 14 May 1968
Entered service at: San Angelo, Texas
Born: 25 December 1927, Stephenville, Texas
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. P/Sgt. McCleery, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as platoon leader of the 1st Platoon of Company A. A combined force was assigned the mission of assaulting a reinforced company of North Vietnamese Army regulars, well entrenched on Hill 352, 17 miles west of Tam Ky. As P/Sgt. McCleery led his men up the hill and across an open area to close with the enemy, his platoon and other friendly elements were pinned down by tremendously heavy fire coming from the fortified enemy positions. Realizing the severe damage that the enemy could inflict on the combined force in the event that their attack was completely halted, P/Sgt. McCleery rose from his sheltered position and began a 1-man assault on the bunker complex. With extraordinary courage, he moved across 60 meters of open ground as bullets struck all around him and rockets and grenades literally exploded at his feet. As he came within 30 meters of the key enemy bunker, P/Sgt. McCleery began firing furiously from the hip and throwing hand grenades. At this point in his assault, he was painfully wounded by shrapnel, but, with complete disregard for his wound, he continued his advance on the key bunker and killed all of its occupants. Having successfully and singlehandedly breached the enemy perimeter, he climbed to the top of the bunker he had just captured and, in full view of the enemy, shouted encouragement to his men to follow his assault. As the friendly forces moved forward, P/Sgt. McCleery began a lateral assault on the enemy bunker line. He continued to expose himself to the intense enemy fire as he moved from bunker to bunker, destroying each in turn. He was wounded a second time by shrapnel as he destroyed and routed the enemy from the hill. P/Sgt. McCleery is personally credited with eliminating several key enemy positions and inspiring the assault that resulted in gaining control of Hill 352. His extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, was in keeping with the highest standards of the military service, and reflects great credit on him, the Americal Division, and the U.S. Army.
The following message was received on 11 December 2008:
My grand father was a very special man to all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren that knew him and the ones that did not know him at the time is learning more and more about him every day. My name is Lana and I am one of his grandchildren that misses him very much and I tell my boys about him and what he did for our country. I have even told them the stories he used to tell us about the war and all through life about being in the services. Now I have a spouse in the services and truly understand what my grandmother went through when my grandfather was in the services. He didn't just go to be with his wife when he past, he also went to be with one of his daughters that he lost about two years after he lost his wife. He has had another daughter join him in heaven. We love and miss them all very much.
The following message was received on 22 July 2002:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN :
ON JULY 11, 2002 FINNIS D MCCLEERY WENT TO BE WITH HIS WIFE IN
HEAVEN. HIS SERVICES WERE HELD ON JULY 15, AT BELVADIER CEMETARY IN SAN ANGELO, TEXAS. HE RECEIVED A FULL MILITARY BURIAL. HE IS SURVIVED BY SIX OF HIS SEVEN CHILDREN.
ROGER D. MCCLEERY <Cmmccleery@wmconnect.com>
The following message was received on 21 October 2002:
I AM LISA MOORE, ONE OF THE DAUGHTERS. I FOUND THE HARD COPY TO THIS SITE IN SOME OF MY DAD'S PAPERS. I WAS AFRAID THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT DAD PASSED AWAY JULY 11, 2002.
HIS SERVICE WAS VERY SPECIAL, AND THE HONOR GUARD FROM GOODFELLOW DID AN EXCEPTIONAL JOB.
I REALLY LIKE YOUR SITE.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST~!
The following message was received on 3 November2002:
I have come across your website on many occasions, and would like to make an update.
On July 11, 2002 my grandfather Finnis McCleery passed from this world.
He was laid to rest in Belvue Cemetery where his wife and my mother were also buried.
The world is a much lesser place with out him...
Lachadan Alarik <email@example.com>
The following message in regards to Finnis D. McCleery was sent by Jack Hollis on 6 December 1996:I chanced upon this Web site by accident, and I'm extremely glad I did. You see I have a special interest in the Medal Of Honor; my step-father was awarded it by then President Richard Nixon in March of 1971. It is especially gratifying to see his name listed here. There's more to the story though. You see, I was serving in Viet-Nam when the announcement came. The Army arranged for me, although I was Air Force, to attend the ceremony in Washington. I had completed ten months in country and they told me that I did not have to go back; so off I went to Washington, via home first. It is quite a memory today. Anyway, thanks to you for this service. By the way, Dad is retired (has been for several years) and lives in San Angelo, Texas. I wish I could say he's doing well but at his age and with all the injuries he sustained his health is slowly failing. To all veteran's of all wars, of all era's; I'd like to thank each one for their sacrifice, courage, commitment, dedication and belief that WE were worth it. Thank you again, Sincerely, Jack Hollis
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