California State Military Museum
The California State Military Museum
Preserving California's Military Heritage
Command Sergeant Major Delbert O. Jennings
Medal Of Honor Recipient
 
Rank at time of receipt: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
 
Unit: Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
 
Place and date: Kim Song Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 27 December 1966.
 
Entered service at: San Francisco, California.
 
Born: 23 July 1936, Silver City, New Mexico.
 
Medal credited to: California
 
CITATION
 
Citation for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life beyond the call of duty. Part of Company C was defending an artillery position when attacked by a North Vietnamese Army regiment supported by mortar, recoilless-rifle, and machine gun fire. At the out set, Staff Sergeant Jennings sprang to his bunker, astride the main attack route, and slowed the on-coming enemy wave with highly effective machine gun fire. Despite a tenacious defense in which he killed at least twelve of the enemy, his squad was forced to the rear. After covering the withdrawal of the squad, he joined his men, destroyed an enemy demolition crew about to blow up a nearby howitzer, and killed three enemy soldiers at his initial bunker position. Ordering his men back into a secondary position, he again covered their withdrawal, killing one enemy with the butt of his weapon. Observing that some of defenders were unaware of the enemy at their rear, he raced through a fire-swept area to warn the men, turn their fire on the enemy, and lead them to a secondary perimeter. Assisting in the defense of the new position, he aided the air-landing of reinforcements by throwing a white phosphorus grenade on the landing zone despite dangerously silhouetting himself with the light. After helping repulse the final enemy assaults, he led a group of volunteers well beyond friendly lines to an area where eight wounded men lay. Braving enemy sniper fire and ignoring the presence of booby traps in the area, they recovered the eight men who would probably have perished without early medical treatment. Staff Sergeant Jennings’ extraodinary heroism and inspirational leadership saved the lives of many of his comrades and contributed greatly to the defeat of a superior enemy force. His actions stand with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


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