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Michael G. Vinassa

Date of birth: 6-Nov-46
Date of death: Killed in Action
Home of record: Culver City California
Status: KIA


Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Specialist Fourth Class Michael G. Vinassa (ASN: RA-19835678), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Vinassa was serving as a Grenadier in the 3d Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), on a search and destroy operation in Binh Dinh Province. About 1500 hours on 21 May 1966, Company C was engaged by a large Viet Cong force that halted their advancement. The 3d Platoon was then given the mission of moving through the intense hostile fire to reinforce the right flank of Company C. A machine gun caused the 2d Squad to be pinned down. Specialist Vinassa started moving up the left draw delivering supporting fire that caused the 2d Squad to be pinned down. Specialist Vinassa started moving up the left draw delivering supporting fire that caused several of the insurgents to be killed. As the squad continued up the hill, several friendly defenders were wounded, however, Specialist Vinassa encouraged his comrades to follow him as he pressed forward. As they came in close to the Viet Cong positions, the insurgents began throwing grenades, at which time Specialist Vinassa had managed to crawl within ten meters of the machine gun position. As the machine gun poured deadly fire at the remaining members of the squad, Specialist Vinassa, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, charged through the open ten meters and threw a grenade at the emplacement destroying the gun and its crew. Just before the grenade went off, Specialist Vinassa was mortally wounded. His valor made it possible for the rest of the company to continue up the hill. Specialist Vinassa's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were 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: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Pacific, General Orders No. 230 (September 22, 1966)

Action Date: 21-May-66

Service: Army

Rank: Specialist Fourth Class

Company: Company C

Battalion: 1st Battalion (Airborne)

Regiment: 8th Cavalry Regiment

Division: 1st Cavalry Division