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First Name: John

Last Name: Barnes

Birthplace: Boston, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Boston, MA
Middle Name: Andrew

Date of Birth: 16 April 1945

Date of Death: 12 November 1967

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1965 - 1967
John Andrew Barnes III

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John Andrew Barnes III
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

John Andrew Barnes III (16 April 1945 - 12 November 1967) was a Private First Class in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. For conspicuous gallantry in Dak To, Vietnam, Barnes was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.

Barnes was born on 16 April 1945, at Boston, MA, and there he entered the U.S. Army. He was dispatched to Vietnam as part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade on 31 May 1966. Serving in Company C of the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, Barnes served as a grenadier. On 12 November 1967, while patrolling in the Kontum province, Barnes' unit was attacked by a North Vietnamese battalion. During the battle, Barnes manned a machine gun that had lost its crew to enemy fire and was credited with nine enemy kills. While retrieving more ammunition, Barnes dove on top of a grenade that had landed among American wounded in order to use his body to protect them from the blast. The grenade exploded, killing Barnes.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 503d Infantry 173d Airborne Brigade.

Place and date: Dak To, Republic of Vietnam, 12 November 1967.

Entered service at: Boston, MA. Born: 16 April 1945, Boston, MA.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Barnes distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while engaged in combat against hostile forces. Pfc. Barnes was serving as a grenadier when his unit was attacked by a North Vietnamese force, estimated to be a battalion. Upon seeing the crew of a machine gun team killed, Pfc. Barnes, without hesitation, dashed through the bullet swept area, manned the machine gun, and killed 9 enemy soldiers as they assaulted his position. While pausing just long enough to retrieve more ammunition, Pfc. Barnes observed an enemy grenade thrown into the midst of some severely wounded personnel close to his position. Realizing that the grenade could further injure or kill the majority of the wounded personnel, he sacrificed his life by throwing himself directly onto the hand grenade as it exploded. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his own safety, and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, he averted a probable loss of life and injury to the wounded members of his unit. Pfc. Barnes' extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

John Andrew Barnes' name is inscribed on Panel 29E - Row 084.

Death and Burial

PFC John Andrew Barnes III was killed in action on 12 November 1967. He is buried at Brookdale Cemetery in Dedham, MA.

Honoree ID: 890   Created by: MHOH




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