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Thomas James Kinsman

Date of birth: March 4, 1945
Date of death: May 15, 2017
Place of Birth: Washington, Renton
Home of record: Seattle Washington


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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 pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Specialist Fourth Class [then Private First Class] Thomas James Kinsman (ASN: US-56958651), 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 rifleman with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Vinh Long, Republic of Vietnam, in the afternoon of 6 February 1968, while on a reconnaissance-in-force mission. As Specialist Fourth Class Kinsman's company was proceeding up a narrow canal in armored troops carriers, it came under sudden and intense rocket, automatic weapons and small-arms fire from a well entrenched Viet Cong force. The company immediately beached and began assaulting the enemy bunker complex. Hampered by exceedingly dense undergrowth which limited visibility to ten meters, a group of eight men became cut off from the main body of the company. As they were moving through heavy enemy fire to effect a link-up, an enemy soldier in a concealed position hurled a grenade into their midst. Specialist Fourth Class Kinsman immediately alerted his comrades of the danger, then unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade and blocked the explosion with his body. As a result of his courageous action, he received severe head and chest wounds. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his personal safety and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, Specialist Fourth Class Kinsman averted loss of life and injury to the other seven men of his element. Specialist Fourth Class Kinsman's extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 40 (June 13, 1969)

Action Date: February 6, 1968

Service: Army

Company: Company B

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 60th Infantry Regiment

Division: 9th Infantry Division