Medal of Honor
KINSMAN, THOMAS JAMES
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 3rd
Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division
Place and date: Near Vinh Long, Republic of Vietnam, 6 February 1968
Entered service at: Seattle, Washington
Born: 4 March 1945, Renton, Washington
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty Sp4c. Kinsman (then Pfc.) distinguished himself in action in the afternoon while serving as a rifleman with Company B, On a reconnaissance-in-force mission. As his company was proceeding up a narrow canal in armored troops carriers, it came under sudden and intense rocket, automatic weapons and small-arms fire from a well entrenched Viet Cong force. The company immediately beached and began assaulting the enemy bunker complex. Hampered by exceedingly dense undergrowth which limited visibility to 10 meters, a group of 8 men became cut off from the main body of the company. As they were moving through heavy enemy fire to effect a link-up, an enemy soldier in a concealed position hurled a grenade into their midst. Sp4c. Kinsman immediately alerted his comrades of the danger, then unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade and blocked the explosion with his body. As a result of his courageous action, he received severe head and chest wounds. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his personal safety and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, Sp4c. Kinsman averted loss of life and injury to the other 7 men of his element. Sp4c. Kinsman's extraordinary heroism at the risk 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.
Thanks to 1SG Bruce R. Longnecker, USA (Ret), of the Veterans Memorial Museum (www.veteransmuseum.org) for providing the above photo.
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