The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
SPECIALIST FIFTH CLASS
JOHN JAMES KEDENBURG
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Specialist Fifth Class John James Kedenburg, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Command & Control Detachment North, FOB 2, FOB 2, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Republic of Vietnam, on 13 June 1968, while serving as advisor to a long-range reconnaissance team of South Vietnamese irregular troops. The team’s mission was to conduct counter-guerrilla operations deep within enemy-held territory. Prior to reaching the day’s objective, the team was attacked and encircled by a battalion-size North Vietnamese Army force. Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg assumed immediate command of the team which succeeded, after a fierce fight, in breaking out of the encirclement. As the team moved through thick jungle to a position from which it could be extracted by helicopter, Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg conducted a gallant rear guard fight against the pursuing enemy and called for tactical air support and rescue helicopters. His withering fire against the enemy permitted the team to reach a pre-selected landing zone with the loss of only one man, who was unaccounted for. Once in the landing zone, Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg deployed the team into a perimeter defense against the numerically superior enemy force. When tactical air support arrived, he skillfully directed air strikes against the enemy, suppressing their fire so that helicopters could hover over the area and drop slings to be used in the extraction of the team. After half of the team was extracted by helicopter, Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg and the remaining three members of the team harnessed themselves to the sling on a second hovering helicopter. Just as the helicopter was to lift them out of the area, the South Vietnamese team member who had been unaccounted for after the initial encounter with the enemy appeared in the landing zone. Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg unhesitatingly gave up his place in the sling to the man and directed the helicopter pilot to leave the area. He then continued to engage the enemy who were swarming into the landing zone, killing six enemy soldiers before he was overpowered. Specialist Fifth Class Kedenburg’s inspiring leadership, consummate courage and willing self-sacrifice permitted his small team to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy and escape almost certain annihilation. His actions reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.