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Congressional Medal of Honor recipients

The letter/number at the end of each section identifies the museum wing and display case

Thomas Norris, a navy SEAL leutenant, led a five-man patrol through 2,000 meters of heavily controlled enemy territory in Quang Sri Province to rescue two downed American aviators. They found the first pilot, rescued him, and returned him to the forward base.

Norris then led a three man patrol in two unsuccessful rescue attempts for the second pilot. Two days later, the second pilot was located. Disguised as Vietnamese fishermen, Norris and Vietnamese petty officer, Nguyen Van Kiet, under serious machine gun fire, managed to recover the pilot. (D-79)

Michael Novosel, an air force officer, piloted B-29s in World War II and was one who flew over the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay. He resigned his commission when he was refused duty in Vietnam. He joined the Army as a

warrant officer. He and his son were the only father/son medical evacuation (DUSTOFF) pilots in Vietnam, together evacuating more than 8,000 wounded and over a span of a few weeks, rescued each other after their helicopters went down. When Novosel retired in 1985, he was the last World War II pilot still on active duty. His award was given for the rescue of twenty-nine soldiers requiring fifteen separate extractions. (D-78)

Mitchell Paige, A marine sergeant and his platoon, repelled repeated enemy charges in fierce hand-to-hand combat on Guadalcanal during World War II. When all of his men were either dead or wounded, Paige ran 

back and forth between machine guns firing them, simulating a number of troops. Two rifle companies were stalled behind him waiting to move forward. He finally grabbed a machine gun, strapped on an ammo belt and led the rifle companies directly into the enemy.Thirty-three marines fought 2,500 Japanese and destroyed the resistance. (C-20)

Michael Thornton, a navy SEAL lieutenant, was on patrol with fellow Navy SEAL Thomas Norris. They ran into enemy fire and spent four hours holding off the enemy with five other men. Norris was shot in the head and was reported as killed.

Thornton, hearing about this, ran back, recovered Norris, and carried him and a Vietnamese soldier to the ocean and then swam supporting them for two hours until they were picked up. Norris lost an eye and a portion of his skull but survived. It was the only example of a navy SEAL receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the life of another navy SEAL who was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (D-69)

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Nguyen Van Kiet, a Vietnamese navy petty officer, volunteered to accompany navy SEAL Lieutenant Thomas Norris in an extremely hazardous attempt to reach the second of two downed pilots. He and 

Norris dressed as fishermen, traveled throughout the night in a sampan deep into enemy territory, and successfully rescued the pilot. Van Kiet was awarded the Navy Cross, the highest award available to members of foreign military units operating with American Forces. (D-79)

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James Livingston, a marine captain, led his company on an assault on the heavily fortified village of Dai Do, Vietnam. The enemy had surrounded a marine company the previous evening. The men crossed 500 meters of open rice paddy under intense fire. 

He was wounded twice, refused medical treatment, and continue to lead his men in the destruction of over 100 enemy bunkers. His company and the stranded company continued the fight. He was wounded a third time and now was unable to walk. He continued in charge until his men were safe. He then allowed himself to be evacuated. He continued his service and retired as a Major General. (C-26)

Roy Wheat, a marine lance corporal, was assigned as a rifleman with the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam. He and two other marines were guarding a navy construction battalion when he stepped on a bounding mine. Hearing 

the hiss of the bomb's fuse, he shouted a warning and threw himself on the bomb. He was killed but saved the lives of his close friend Vern Sorensen and the other marine. Roy's mother asked Vern to escort his body home. Vern was a member of the museum's board of directors for a number of years and was quick to tell all that Roy saved his life. (C-27)

Richard Sorenson, a marine private, served with an assault battalion attached to the 4th Marine Division during the battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, during World War II. He and five other marines occupied a shell hole into

which a Japanese grenade was thrown. Sorenson hurled himself onto the grenade. He was seriously wounded but survived. He was discharged but re-enlisted a year later and rose the rank of master sergeant. (C-20)

Drew Dix, an army green beret staff sergeant, was assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency. His mission was to lead an armed force of indigenous troops and capture high ranking Viet

Cong officials. Out numbered 30-1,  his troops battled two Viet Cong battalions for fifty-six hours. Determed to rescue the civilians after the battle, Dix saved a US nurse, eight USAID volunteers, two Filipino workers, a young Vietnamese girl, and the wife and children of the Chau Doc Province chief. He captured over twenty prisoners, including a Viet Cong general. Dix was the first enlisted green beret to be awarded  the Congressional Medal of Honor in Vietnam. He received a direct commission to first lieutenant and retired as a major after twenty years in the army. (C-33)

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