One Man Tank Killer Earns Medal of Honor

Jan 15 , 2024

One Man Tank Killer Earns Medal of Honor

Sp5c. Dwight Johnson, a tank driver with Company B, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on this day in 1968. At this time, he was a member of a reaction force moving to aid other elements of his platoon, which was in heavy contact with a battalion-sized North Vietnamese force.

Sp5c. Johnson's tank, upon reaching the point of contact, threw a track and became immobilized. Realizing that he could do no more as a driver, he climbed out of the vehicle, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition. Returning to his tank through antitank rockets, small arms, and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a submachine gun to continue his fight against the advancing enemy.

Sp5c. Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he eliminated more of the determined foe. Engaged in extremely close combat when the last of his ammunition was expended, he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his gun. Now weaponless, Sp5c. Johnson ignored the enemy fire around him, climbed into his platoon sergeant's tank, extricated a wounded crewmember, and carried him to an armored personnel carrier. He then returned to the same tank and assisted in firing the main gun until it jammed.

In a magnificent display of courage, Sp5c. Johnson exited the tank and armed only with a .45 caliber pistol again, engaged several North Vietnamese troops near the vehicle.

Fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting his immobilized tank, he remained fully exposed to the enemy as he skillfully engaged them with the tank's externally mounted .50 caliber machine gun; where he stayed until the situation was brought under control.


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