Medal of Honor



 The above rendering of Garfield M. Langhorn was beautifully done as oil on canvas by Gerald Slater. See message below.



Rank and organization: Private First class, U.S. Army, Troop C, 7th Squadron (Airmobile), 17th Cavalry, 1st Aviation Brigade


Place and date: Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 January 1969


Entered service at: Brooklyn, New York


Born: 10 September 1948, Cumberland, Virginia




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Langhorn distinguished himself while serving as a radio operator with Troop C, near Plei Djereng in Pleiku Province. Pfc. Langhorn's platoon was inserted into a landing zone to rescue 2 pilots of a cobra helicopter shot down by enemy fire on a heavily timbered slope. He provided radio coordination with the command-and-control aircraft overhead while the troops hacked their way through dense undergrowth to the wreckage, where both aviators were found dead. As the men were taking the bodies to a pickup site, they suddenly came under intense fire from North Vietnamese soldiers in camouflaged bunkers to the front and right flank, and within minutes they were surrounded. Pfc. Langhorn immediately radioed for help from the orbiting gunships, which began to place mini-gun and rocket fire on the aggressors. He then lay between the platoon leader and another man, operating the radio and providing covering fire for the wounded who had been moved to the center of the small perimeter. Darkness soon fell, making it impossible for the gun ships to give accurate support, and the aggressors began to probe the perimeter. An enemy hand grenade landed in front of Pfc. Langhorn and a few feet from personnel who had become casualties. Choosing to protect these wounded, he unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, scooped it beneath his body and absorbed the blast. By sacrificing himself, he saved the lives of his comrades. Pfc. Langhorn's extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.


Thanks to Dave Blackburn, MOCOK@AOL.COM for the photograph.


The following message was received on 8 August 2011:

In 2010 I had the distinct honor of painting the official portrait of Medal of Honor recipient Garfield Langhorn for the post office building named in his honor in Riverhead, NY. The painting was unveiled during the naming ceremony in September, 2010, then sat in the post office vault until a proper place could be prepared for it and the plaques and citations. The display case was installed last Friday (August 5th) and the painting is now on display there.

Gerald Slater

The following message was received on 2 April 1999:

 It has taken me a little while, but I finally found this write-up on Garfield Langhorn. I was 3 years younger than he was, but went through all my school years knowing him from a distance- not well at all. But I still remember him.

We started at a little elementary school on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, New York. I remember him as being a sweet, quiet, gentle boy that grew up to be a man of the same caliber.

It was with great shock that I heard of his death when it was announced over the high school speakers. You don't think that someone that nice would have that happen to them.

I didn't know until now what had happened to him- and I'm not surprised at what he did. He was like that.

I'll never forget him.

Sue, an old schoolmate <>


--- General / Personal ---

Last name: LANGHORN

First name: GARFIELD M

Home of Record (official): RIVERHEAD

State (official): NY

Date of Birth: Friday, September 10, 1948

Sex: Male

Race: Negro

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---

Branch: Army

Rank: PFC

Serial Number: 52768385

Component: Selective Service

Pay grade: E3

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B10


--- Action ---

Start of Tour: Saturday, October 26, 1968

Date of Casualty: Wednesday, January 15, 1969

Age at time of loss: 20

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Pleiku

The Wall: Panel 34W - Row 009



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