Vietnam Veteran U.S. Army Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan, of South Haven, Michigan, was presented the Medal of Honor by President Trump on Monday.
“For over two centuries, our brave men and women in uniform have overcome tyranny, fascism, communism, and every threat to our freedom — every single threat they’ve overcome,” said Trump. “And we’ve overcome these threats because of titans like Jim whose spirit could never be conquered.”
A combat medic in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, McCloughan distinguished himself over the course of a three-day battle with near Nui Yon Hill in Vietnam in May 1969. As described in the Congressional Record, though wounded himself early in the battle, McCloughan refused to be medevacked out of the fighting and ran through enemy fire on no less than nine occasions to help recover wounded members of his company.
As detailed by the Army, in the final stages of the battle, McCloughan not only tended the wounded and concentrated on saving lives but also helped his embattled unit — a force of 89 facing an estimated 700 Viet Cong — fight, on one occasion knocking out an RPG position with a grenade.
Awarded the Bronze Star in 1970, members of McCloughan’s unit petitioned to have his actions re-evaluated in 2015, which led to the Medal of Honor being authorized last year.
The life-long Wolverine returned to his hometown and taught sociology and psychology at South Haven High School as well as coached baseball and football, recently retiring after four decades of service to his community.
McCloughlan speaks about his actions in a documentary for the Army’s Center for Military History, below.