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First Name: Don

Last Name: Michael

Birthplace: Florence, AL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Montgomery, AL
Middle Name: Leslie

Date of Birth: 31 July 1947

Date of Death: 08 April 1967

Rank: Specialist 4

Years Served: 1966 - 1967
Don Leslie Michael

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Don Leslie Michael
Specialist Four, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Specialist Four Don Leslie Michael (31 July 1947 - 8 April 1967) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Don Leslie Michael was born on 31 July 1947 in Florence, AL. He joined the Army at Montgomery, AL. On 8 April 1967, Michael was serving as a Specialist Four in Company C, 4th Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. On that day, in the Republic of Vietnam, he single-handedly destroyed a Viet Cong bunker and was then mortally wounded while chasing the retreating enemy soldiers. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4 Michael, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving with Company C. Sp4 Michael was part of a platoon which was moving through an area of suspected enemy activity. While the rest of the platoon stopped to provide security, the squad to which Sp4 Michael was assigned moved forward to investigate signs of recent enemy activity. After moving approximately 125 meters, the squad encountered a single Viet Cong soldier. When he was fired upon by the squad's machine gunner, other Viet Cong opened fire with automatic weapons from a well-concealed bunker to the squad's right front. The volume of enemy fire was so withering as to pin down the entire squad and halt all forward movement. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sp4 Michael exposed himself to throw 2 grenades, but failed to eliminate the enemy position. From his position on the left flank, Sp4 Michael maneuvered forward with 2 more grenades until he was within 20 meters of the enemy bunkers, when he again exposed himself to throw 2 grenades, which failed to detonate. Undaunted, Sp4 Michael made his way back to the friendly positions to obtain more grenades. With 2 grenades in hand, he again started his perilous move towards the enemy bunker, which by this time was under intense artillery fire from friendly positions. As he neared the bunker, an enemy soldier attacked him from a concealed position. Sp4 Michael killed him with his rifle and, in spite of the enemy fire and the exploding artillery rounds, was successful in destroying the enemy positions. Sp4 Michael took up pursuit of the remnants of the retreating enemy. When his comrades reached Sp4 Michael, he had been mortally wounded. His inspiring display of determination and courage saved the lives of many of his comrades and successfully eliminated a destructive enemy force. Sp4 Michael's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Army Commendation Medal
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Don Leslie Michael's name is inscribed on Panel 17E - Line 125.

Death and Burial

Specialist Four Don Leslie Michael was killed in action on 8 April 1967. He is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Lexington, AL.

Honoree ID: 1029   Created by: MHOH




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