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First Name: Lester

Last Name: Stone

Birthplace: Binghamton, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Syracuse, NY
Middle Name: Raymond

Date of Birth: 04 June 1947

Date of Death: 03 March 1969

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1967 - 1969
Lester Raymond Stone, Jr.

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Lester Raymond Stone, Jr.
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Sergeant Lester Raymond Stone, Jr. (4 June 1947 - 3 March 1969) 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 heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Lester Raymond Stone, Jr. was born on 4 June 1947 in Binghamton, NY. He joined the Army from Syracuse, NY. On 3 March 1969, Stone was serving as a Sergeant in 1st Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23d Infantry Division (Americal). On a combat patrol mission that day, west of Landing Zone Liz in the Republic of Vietnam, he manned a machine gun from an exposed position during an intense enemy attack, allowing others to rescue a wounded comrade.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 1st Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23d Infantry Division (Americal).

Place and date: West of Landing Zone Liz, Republic of Vietnam, 3 March 1969.

Entered service at: Syracuse NY. Born: 4 June 1947, Binghamton, NY.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Stone, distinguished himself while serving as squad leader of the 1st Platoon. The 1st Platoon was on a combat patrol mission just west of Landing Zone Liz when it came under intense automatic weapons and grenade fire from a well concealed company-size force of North Vietnamese regulars. Observing the platoon machinegunner fall critically wounded, Sgt. Stone remained in the exposed area to provide cover fire for the wounded soldier who was being pulled to safety by another member of the platoon. With enemy fire impacting all around him, Sgt. Stone had a malfunction in the machinegun, preventing him from firing the weapon automatically. Displaying extraordinary courage under the most adverse conditions, Sgt. Stone repaired the weapon and continued to place on the enemy positions effective suppressive fire which enabled the rescue to be completed. In a desperate attempt to overrun his position, an enemy force left its cover and charged Sgt. Stone. Disregarding the danger involved, Sgt. Stone rose to his knees and began placing intense fire on the enemy at pointblank range, killing 6 of the enemy before falling mortally wounded. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire unit, and he was responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Sergeant Stone's Medal of Honor was presented to his parents, and sister, by President Richard Nixon at a White House ceremony on 7 April 1970.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Lester Raymond Stone, Jr. is inscribed on Panel 30W - Line 33.

Special Honor

Sergeant Stone's Medal of Honor traveled in space. His mother, Doris Stone, lent the Medal to U.S. Army Colonel and NASA Astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock to take on his June 2010 launch to the International Space Station. Wheelock, who was born in the same city as Lester Stone, carried the Medal of Honor during Expeditions 24 and 25 to the space station in 2010 as a tribute to Stone.

After six months in space and traveling 63 million miles, NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock returned Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. Lester R. Stone Jr's, Medal of Honor which he carried with him aboard the International Space Station.

Wheelock returned the Medal of Honor to Doris Stone, mother of Sgt. Stone, during a military-style ceremony at a presentation to elementary and middle school students in Harpursville, NY.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Lester Raymond Stone, Jr. was killed in action on 3 March 1969. He is buried at Chenango Valley Cemetery in Binghamton, NY.

Honoree ID: 1091   Created by: MHOH




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