The President announced plans to award Medals of Honor to four Vietnam veterans, in recognition of their courage and heroism displayed during the fight.
Three of the four men will receive the medals on July 5th during a ceremony at the White house, one medal will be honored posthumously, and will be accepted by family members.
Kaneshiro served as an infantry squad leader with the 1st cavalry division, his unit was ambushed while on a search and destroy mission the Kim Son Valley. Officials said that Kaneshiro heroically destroyed 3 enemy groups single handedly, which allowed his men to withdraw from the area, he continued to serve for 4 more months until falling victim to hostile gunfire.
Spc. 5th Class Dwight W. Birdwell was serving with the 25th Infantry Division, during an assault his unit was overrun, under heavy fire he was able to move his incapacitated commander to safety and begin returning fire. During the fight he was wounded in the face and torso but refused evacuation until he was ordered to withdraw.
Spc. 5th Class Dennis M. Fujii was the crew chief aboard a helicopter ambulance. During a evacuation mission his medevac helicopter was shot down. despite sustaining injuries, he waved off rescue from another helicopter, and remained the only American on the field of battle for 17 hours, were he exposed himself to hostile fire to treat and support the outmanned Vietnamese allies.