Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Michael

Last Name: Blanchfield

Birthplace: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Chicago, IL
Middle Name: Reinert

Date of Birth: 04 January 1950

Date of Death: 03 July 1969

Rank: Specialist 4

Years Served: 1967 - 1969
Michael Reinert Blanchfield

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Michael Reinert Blanchfield
Specialist Four, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Michael Reinert Blanchfield was born on 4 January 1950, at Minneapolis, MN. He was a Specialist Four in the U.S. Army and was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest decoration for valor - the Medal of Honor - for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Blanchfield joined the Army from Chicago, IL, and on 3 July 1969 was serving as a Specialist Four in Company A, 4th Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. On that day, in Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, Blanchfield smothered the blast of a hand grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him.

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. Blanchfield distinguished himself while serving as a rifleman in Company A on a combat patrol. The patrol surrounded a group of houses to search for suspects. During the search of 1 of the huts, a man suddenly ran out toward a nearby tree line. Sp4. Blanchfield, who was on guard outside the hut, saw the man, shouted for him to halt, and began firing at him as the man ignored the warning and continued to run. The suspect suddenly threw a grenade toward the hut and its occupants. Although the exploding grenade severely wounded Sp4. Blanchfield and several others, he regained his feet to continue the pursuit of the enemy. The fleeing enemy threw a second grenade which landed near Sp4. Blanchfield and several members of his patrol. Instantly realizing the danger, he shouted a warning to his comrades. Sp4. Blanchfield unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full and fatal impact of the explosion. By his gallant action and self-sacrifice, he was able to save the lives and prevent injury to 4 members of the patrol and several Vietnamese civilians in the immediate area. Sp4. Blanchfield's extraordinary courage and gallantry at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

SP4 Michael Reinert Blanchfield's name is inscribed on Panel 21W - Line 50.

Death and Burial

SP4 Michael Reinert Blanchfield was killed in action on 3 July 1969. He is buried at All Saints Catholic Cemetery & Mausoleum in Des Plaines, IL.

Honoree ID: 898   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image