John McGinty, retired Marine Captain, received the nation’s highest valor award for his actions during the Vietnam War in a July 18, 1966, battle that saw nearly 500 enemies killed. After coming under heavy fire from automatic weapons and mortars, McGinty responded by rallying his platoon’s men to fend off wave after wave of enemy attacks over a four-hour period. During this time, two of his squads became separated, so McGinty charged across fire-swept terrain, braving enemy machine guns and mortars, to reach the cut-off squads.
Despite suffering from painful injuries, he continued to shout encouragement to his fellow Marines and direct their fire. Upon returning home, he continued to serve with the Marines until his retirement in 1976. In addition to his Medal of Honour, his decorations include the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal with two bronze stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
McGinty will be buried at the Beaufort National Cemetery tomorrow.
More information on his story can be seen here.