Copyright 2013 by John T. Reed

I wrote about Army Captain SWenson NOT getting the Medal of Honor—apparently for failure to suck up to the brass previously.

According to this new story, Swenson is now finally getting it—thaks to the media and against the wishes of the rectant brass.

Here is a comment from a 1990s West Point grad about it:


OK--I'm going to have to weigh in on this one.

If the kid really deserves the CMH for heroism "above and beyond" then I'm not going to ding him.

But let's see: 50 bad guys ambush 93 "good guys," they fight for 6 HOURS, and 2 Americans get the CMH?

At Ia Drang in 1965 it was ~400 Americans vs. 5,000+ "bad guys" in three straight days of combat--and only 1 CMH awarded.

My great-uncle was at Okinawa in 1945--vs. 21,000+ Japanese, fighting for WEEKS. The US registered something like 4,000 dead within the first 6 hours of the invasion. Not too much airpower either. His recollection was not 2 CMHs awarded for every 13 Americans in Combat.

He is laughing with disbelief as I read this to him. He suggests that someone look up the Huertgen Forest campaign in WWII and then get back with him about "heroism above and beyond." 442nd RCT, all-Japanese, something like 75% casualties fighting three or four badass German Divisions?

I can imagine what my family friend who was at the Chosin Reservoir would think about this announcement.

And the Army goes rolling along . . . .



Your West Point grad/friend got the Story of the battle of Ia Drang wrong.  The "400 against 4,000" was at Landing zone x-ray and no MOH's were awarded.  It was at landing zone y when a different battalion (2/7) was ambushed late in the morning after the 3- day battle of x-ray.  Walter Marm was awarded the MOH in this battle.
[name redacted]

I appreciate informed, well-thought-out constructive criticism and suggestions.

John T. Reed