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Peter Mathew Guenette

Date of birth: January 4, 1948
Date of death: May 18, 1968
Burial location: Troy, New York
Place of Birth: New York, Troy
Home of record: Albany New York
Status: KIA


Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Specialist Fourth Class Peter Mathew Guenette (ASN: 11536937), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company D, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Quan Tan Uyen Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 18 May 1968. While Specialist Fourth Class Guenette's platoon was sweeping a suspected enemy base camp, it came under light harassing fire from a well equipped and firmly entrenched squad of North Vietnamese Army regulars which was serving as a delaying force at the entrance to their base camp. As the platoon moved within ten meters of the fortified positions, the enemy fire became intense. Specialist Fourth Class Guenette and his assistant gunner immediately began to provide a base of suppressive fire, ceasing momentarily to allow the assistant gunner time to throw a grenade into a bunker. Seconds later, an enemy grenade was thrown to Specialist Fourth Class Guenette's right flank. Realizing that the grenade would kill or wound at least four men and destroy the machinegun, he shouted a warning and smothered the grenade with his body, absorbing its blast. Through his actions, he prevented loss of life or injury to at least three men and enabled his comrades to maintain their fire superiority. By his gallantry at the cost of his life in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, Specialist Fourth Class Guenette has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 9 (April 23, 1970)

Action Date: 18-May-68

Service: Army

Rank: Specialist Fourth Class

Company: Company D

Battalion: 2d Battalion (Airborne)

Regiment: 506th Infantry Regiment

Division: 101st Airborne Division