How a bloody Ka-Bar knife fight during the Vietnam War got this Marine a Navy Cross 52 years later - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان

How a bloody Ka-Bar knife fight during the Vietnam War got this Marine a Navy Cross 52 years later

How a bloody Ka-Bar knife fight during the Vietnam War got this Marine a Navy Cross 52 years later

Lance Cpl. James H. Stogner was a young 18-year-old Marine ammo humper serving with a machine gun team in Vietnam.

On the evening of April 5, 1967, as the sun set, Stogner and machine gunner Cpl. Eli Fobbs along with other Marines assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines were tasked to push across a tree line and hedgerow towards a village suspected of hiding North Vietnamese Army, or NVA, troops.

But on this mission, NVA troops were lying in wait to ambush the Marines.

As darkness fell, illumination rounds lit up the night sky revealing some enemy positions, a sudden quick burst from Stogner’s rifle took out three NVA soldiers. But return fire smacked Stogner’s rifle, slamming him in the face and breaking his nose.

Wounded, Stogner dropped into the prone position as grenade and mortar rounds exploded all around him. As the illumination rounds died out, much of his platoon had been killed or wounded, cut down by enemy fire.

Enemy troops then pushed across the field, killing wounded Marines and taking their equipment. Stogner, armed with his Ka-Bar knife, low crawled through the dark near his wounded fellow comrades and managed to kill three NVA troops with his knife.

But Fobbs, Stogner’s machine gunner, was captured and dragged into the vegetation across the NVA entrenched position.

Get the Marine Corps Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Marine Corps stories, delivered each afternoon

Subscribe

Enter a valid email address (please select a country) United States United Kingdom Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, The Democratic Republic of The Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote D’ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan, Province of China Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

Thanks for signing up!

×

By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Marine Corps Times Daily News Roundup.

James Stogner (left) was presented the Navy Cross by Ret. Lt. Gen. Frank Libutti on April 5, 2019. Libutti was a second lieutenant when he served with Stogner during the Vietnam War.

Stogner continued to crawl and moved undetected towards Fobbs’ screams, where he found four NVA soldiers kicking and abusing his comrade.

Stogner killed one of the NVA troops quietly with his Ka-Bar as the enemy soldier moved towards vegetation Stogner was hiding in, and a second NVA soldier was killed in similar fashion.

With two NVA soldiers remaining, Stogner stormed the position armed with his knife, thrusting it into one of the men’s chests as hand to hand combat ensued.

All four NVA troops were killed as Stogner slung Fobbs over his shoulder and grabbed his M60 machine gun, carrying him to friendly lines through a hail of gunfire and grenade explosions.

These are some of the details laid out in a lengthy summary of Stogner’s heroic actions, which was obtained by Marine Corps Times.

For his heroism under fire, Stogner was finally awarded the Navy Cross nearly 52 years after his actions saved the life of his machine gunner and other Marines in his company.

His valor that fateful night was lost for nearly a half century before he was finally awarded the nation’s second highest award for combat bravery at a ceremony Friday. The award ceremony was attended by nearly 400 people, including men who survived the ordeal with Stogner.

Stogner told Marine Corps Times in an interview that he was relieved and glad that it was over.

Stogner’s award, like many other veterans during the Vietnam War, was lost due to battlefield chaos and bureaucratic red tape.

Today, Lance Cpl. James Stogner received the Navy Cross for his actions on this day 52 years ago.
After a round ricocheted off his rifle, Stogner continued to fight the enemy with his Ka-Bar and saved his fellow Marine. pic.twitter.com/WM0fIVbgou— U.S. Marines (@USMC) April 6, 2019

Shortly following his battlefield heroism, Stogner says his section team leader penned an award recommendation on a food ration box commonly carried by Marines in the field, which was forwarded to his platoon commander.

But his platoon commander, soon thereafter, stepped on a land mine. Paperwork just “got lost in the shuffle,” Stogner said.

Just two months later, the “entire command group was wiped out” when a rocket came through the door of the command bunker, Stogner added.

Following a reunion in 2006, men who served with Stogner became aware he never received a medal for his actions and an effort was launched to recognize his valor.

According to documents obtained by Marine Corps Times, Stogner was considered for the Medal of Honor but appears to have at least been partially denied because of a lack of two eyewitness statements.

Many of the Marines had been killed during the battle and none appeared to have witnessed Stogner crawling through the dark of night, but neither did the enemy who Stogner made quick work of with his issued Marine knife. The sole eyewitness to the event was Fobbs.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Frank Libutti, a second lieutenant at the time he served with Stogner in Vietnam, had taken the Medal of Honor recommendation to then-Commandant of the Marine Corps James Amos.

An effort was made to waive the requirement for two eyewitness statements.

After a nearly nine-year effort, Stogner was approved for the Navy Cross. Libutti attended the ceremony held in Montana and pinned on Stogner’s medal.

leave a reply

*

code

error: Content is protected !!