AMERICA

AMERICA
ONE NATION UNDER GOD!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY




Pfc OSCAR P. AUSTIN USMC

Private First Class Oscar Palmer Austin (January 15, 1949 – February 23, 1969) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded his nation's highest military honor — the Medal of Honor — for heroism and sacrifice of his own life in Vietnam in February 1969.

Austin was born on January 15, 1949, in Nacogdoches, Texas. He attended Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, and Phoenix Union High School.

Austin joined the United States Marine Corps in Phoenix, Arizona April 22, 1968 and completed recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, in July 1968. He completed his individual combat training with Company T, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, in August 1968; and basic infantry training with Weapons Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, in September.

Promoted to private first class on October 1, 1968, he was transferred later that month to the Republic of Vietnam where he served as ammunitions man with Company E, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. While participating in combat 6 ½ miles west of Da Nang on February 23, 1969, he was killed in action.

During the early morning hours on February 23, 1969, Pfc Austin's observation post came under a fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force using a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges and small arms fire. Observing that one of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to hostile fire, Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his own safety, raced across the fire swept terrain to drag the Marine to safety. As he neared his companion, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby. Leaping between the grenade and the injured Marine, Austin took the full force of the explosion himself. Although he was badly injured, Austin turned to help his fallen companion and saw a North Vietnamese soldier aiming a weapon at the unconscious man. With full knowledge of the probable consequences, Austin threw himself between the injured Marine and the hostile soldier. In doing so, he was mortally wounded.

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Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OSCAR P. AUSTIN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Assistant Machine Gunner with Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in connection with operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam
 
During the early morning hours of February 23, 1969, Private First Class Austin's observation post was subjected to a fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force supported by a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges and small arms fire. Observing that one of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to the hostile fire, Private First Class Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his own safety, raced across the fire-swept terrain to assist the Marine to a covered location. 
 
As he neared the casualty, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby and, reacting instantly, leaped between the injured Marine and the lethal object, absorbing the effect of its detonation. As he ignored his painful injuries and turned to examine the wounded man, he saw a North Vietnamese Army soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion. 
 
With full knowledge of the probable consequences and thinking only to protect the Marine, Private First Class Austin resolutely threw himself between the casualty and the hostile soldier and, in so doing, was mortally wounded. Private First Class Austin's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
/S/RICHARD M. NIXON
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"Some people spend an entire lifetime
wondering if they made a difference in the world.
But the U.S. ARMED FORCES
don't have that problem."
                               -Ronald Reagan

5 comments:

SusanD said...

Hey! It's not Thursday yet! I'm still trying to get thru Wednesday. ahaha. These are awesome tributes to valiant warriors who gave all for comrades and country. Thank you for highlighting these brave men. Blessings, SusanD

BTW, Love the new pic of you in your uniform. ;)

Alice in Wonderland said...

I can relate to that because of what happened to my brother by a I.E.D.,
I can see you and him getting along just well together.
I wish that you two could meet up, you have a lot in common.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

warrior man. oh my a man in uniform...woo. You look handsome sweetie.

I have lots of family in the armed forces. I'm very proud of them.

a fabulous post sweetie. these are awesome men...

later babe. xxx

Christiejolu said...

My cousin just got sent to Bahrain(?)My thanks to Pfc Oscar P. Austin...

Red Shoes said...

Man... what an unselfish act!!!! How many of us would do something like that?? A true hero!!

~shoes~