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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: LaPointe

Birthplace: Dayton, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Guy

Date of Birth: 02 July 1948

Date of Death: 02 June 1969

Rank: Specialist 4

Years Served: 1968-1969
Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr.

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr.
Specialist Four, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Specialist Four Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr. (2 July 1948 - 2 June 1969) was a medic in the U.S. Army who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War.

Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr., known to his family as "Guy," was born on 2 July 1948, in Dayton, OH; he was also raised there. After graduating from Northridge High School in 1966, he moved to nearby Clayton and worked as a mail carrier in Englewood. LaPointe was a nature lover and an avid hiker.

LaPointe was drafted in 1968 and declared himself a conscientious objector. He was trained as a combat medic and sent to Vietnam in November 1968. On 2 June 1969, he was a Specialist Four serving with the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. On that day, he participated in a patrol on Hill 376 in Quang Tin province. When his unit came under heavy fire from entrenched enemy forces and took several casualties, LaPointe ran through the automatic weapons fire to reach two wounded men at the head of the patrol. He treated the soldiers and shielded them with his body, even after being twice wounded, until an enemy grenade killed all three men. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4 LaPointe, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Squadron, distinguished himself while serving as a medical aidman during a combat helicopter assault mission. Sp4 LaPointe's patrol was advancing from the landing zone through an adjoining valley when it suddenly encountered heavy automatic weapons fire from a large enemy force entrenched in well fortified bunker positions. In the initial hail of fire, 2 soldiers in the formation vanguard were seriously wounded. Hearing a call for aid from 1 of the wounded, Sp4 LaPointe ran forward through heavy fire to assist his fallen comrades. To reach the wounded men, he was forced to crawl directly in view of an enemy bunker. As members of his unit attempted to provide covering fire, he administered first aid to 1 man, shielding the other with his body. He was hit by a burst of fire from the bunker while attending the wounded soldier. In spite of his painful wounds, Sp4 LaPointe continued his lifesaving duties until he was again wounded and knocked to the ground. Making strenuous efforts, he moved back again into a shielding position to continue administering first aid. An exploding enemy grenade mortally wounded all 3 men. Sp4 LaPointe's courageous actions at the cost of his life were an inspiration to his comrades. His gallantry and selflessness are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 1 Star
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Combat Medical Badge
Combat Infantryman Badge

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr. is inscribed on Panel 23W - Line 45.


The following have been named in honor of Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr.:

• A housing complex and medical complex in Fort Campbell, KY

• A medical heliport in Fort Benning, GA

• A portion of Ohio State Route 49 in Montgomery County has been designated the "Joseph G. LaPointe Jr. Memorial Highway."

• The LaPointe Army Reserve Center in Riverside, OH

On 2 June 2009, the 40th anniversary of his death, LaPointe's widow, Cindy LaPointe Dafler, and his son, Joseph G. LaPointe III, were presented with the Medal of Honor flag during a ceremony at the LaPointe Army Reserve Center in Riverside, OH. His son, now 40 years old, never met his father. Before the ceremony, Cindy LaPointe Dafler said, "My purpose in life is to keep my husband's memory alive."

Death and Burial

Specialist Four Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr. was killed in action on 2 June 1969. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in West Milton, Miami County, OH.

Honoree ID: 1002   Created by: MHOH




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