David H. McNerney Medal of Honor recipient dies at 79

Posted on October 13, 2010


David H. McNerney, a Medal of Honor recipient whose Vietnam War heroics later became the subject of a documentary, died Sunday after a battle with lung cancer he was 79.

McNerney was born June 2, 1931, in Lowell, Mass. His family later moved to Houston, where he graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1949.

First Sgt. McNerney had already served two combat tours in 1966 when he was assigned to a company of green infantrymen at Fort Lewis, Wash.

In March 1967, the company of fewer than 100 soldiers was attacked by a much larger force near the Central Highlands village of Polei Doc.
McNerney dashed through a hail of gunfire and took charge after learning that the company’s commander and artillery forward observer had been killed.

Although wounded by a North Vietnamese grenade, McNerney wiped out a machine gun position and called artillery fire to within 20 meters of his own position to repulse the waves of enemy soldiers threatening to overrun the U.S. lines.

All the while, McNerney continued moving throughout the company’s battlefield area — adjusting the position, checking on his soldiers and pulling the wounded to safety.

via Crosby Medal of Honor recipient dies of lung cancer at 79 | Houston.