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First Name: James

Last Name: Fous

Birthplace: Omaha, NE, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Omaha, NE
Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 14 October 1946

Date of Death: 14 May 1968

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1967 - 1968
James William Fous

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


James W. Fous
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Private First Class James W. Fous (14 October 1946 - 14 May 1968) 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.

James W. Fous was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on 14 October 1946, and graduated from that city's Central High School in 1964. He joined the U.S. Army from Omaha and on 14 May 1968, was serving as a Private First Class in Company E, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. On that day in Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, Fous smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown hand grenade with his body, sacrificing his life to protect the soldiers around him. For his self-sacrifice, 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. Pfc. Fous distinguished himself at the risk of his life while serving as a rifleman with Company E. Pfc. Fous was participating in a reconnaissance-in-force mission when his unit formed its perimeter defense for the night. Pfc. Fous, together with 3 other American soldiers, occupied a position in a thickly vegetated area facing a woodline. Pfc. Fous detected 3 Viet Cong maneuvering toward his position and, after alerting the other men, directed accurate fire upon the enemy soldiers, silencing 2 of them. The third Viet Cong soldier managed to escape in the thick vegetation after throwing a hand grenade into Pfc. Fous' position. Without hesitation, Pfc. Fous shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive, absorbing the blast with his body to save the lives of the 3 men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. Pfc. Fous' extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life were 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

James W. Fous' name is inscribed on Panel 60E - Line 11.

Death and Burial

Private First Class James W. Fous was killed in action on 14 May 1968, at age 21. He is buried at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.

Honoree ID: 951   Created by: MHOH




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