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Vietnam War soldier awarded Medal of Honor for saving 4 troop members despite orders to return

He decided to rescue four soldiers all by himself despite his helicopter being ill-suited for such a mission.

Vietnam War soldier awarded Medal of Honor for saving 4 troop members despite orders to return
Cover Image Source: Youtube | NBC News

The Vietnam War in its wake impacted the whole world. The war started in 1954 and finished with the withdrawal of American troops in 1975. It was essentially a conflict between North and South Vietnam for domination. Even to this date, there are families dealing with the blows of that war. In the Vietnam War, almost 550,00 Americans participated with 58,000 succumbing to death. The war witnessed everything from death, patriotism and sacrifice to brotherhood. Retired Army Capt Larry Taylor despite all odds did not turn his back on his brothers and risked his own life to bring them back. In the war, he showed what it truly meant to be an American soldier and after almost 50 years he is being rewarded for it, reports BBC. Recently, Captain Taylor was honored with the Medal of Honor for his bravery in the war by President, Joe Biden.


 
 
 
 
 
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In 1968 during the Vietnam War, Captain Taylor found himself in a huge dilemma when he had to either choose his safety or his brothers. He was serving a long-range reconnaissance patrol team on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City at that time. Suddenly, he and his fellow soldiers came under attack from enemies. In an attempt to fight, he did many low-level attack runs. Throughout the fight, he had to contend with intense ground fire from the opposite side.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Congressional Medal of Honor Society (@cmohsociety)


 

The Cobra helicopter he was flying was in a dismal condition with barely any fuel left and no ammunition to defend, and therefore the base camp ordered him to return. As he was preparing to come back he received the news that four soldiers were in a near-death situation in close range. The base camp was unable to send rescue helicopters, and hence Captain Taylor decided to attempt to save the four troops himself. Apart from surrounding dangers, he was also dealing with the fact that his Cobra was not built for rescue efforts. As per the army, this was the first time Cobra was used for such an endeavor.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Congressional Medal of Honor Society (@cmohsociety)


 

As he was flying to save his troops he realized that his planned escape route had become laden with death traps by the enemy. He had to think on his feet and select a new extraction point. Through his communication gear, he informed of the extraction location to his troops, who began coming there one by one. After seeing the men Captain Taylor quickly landed the helicopter "with complete disregard for his personal safety."


 
 
 
 
 
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The build of the Cobra helicopter was small, and therefore it could not fit Taylor and four other men. Eventually, three men had to cling to the aircraft as it was flying through the air. President Biden in the ceremony described Taylor's heroics by saying, "The rescue helicopter was not coming. Instead, Lieutenant Taylor received a direct order: Return to base. His response was just as direct: 'I'm getting my men out. I'm getting my men out.' Lieutenant Taylor would perform the extraction himself, a move never before accomplished in a Cobra."



 

Biden added how even after getting hit multiple times during the rescue mission, Taylor continued on like a true American. The President noted, "When duty called, Larry did everything to answer. He rewrote the fate of four families for generations to come". To date, 3,515 US military personnel have been given this honor for their contribution and bravado.



 

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