The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*CUTINHA, NICHOLAS J.
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth
Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Gia Dinh, Republic of Vietnam, 2 March 1968. Entered
service at: Coral Gables, Fla. Born: 13 January 1945, Fernandina Beach, Fla.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. While serving as a machine gunner with Company C, Sp4c. Cutinha
accompanied his unit on a combat mission near Gia Dinh. Suddenly his company came under
small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket propelled grenade fire, from a battalion
size enemy unit. During the initial hostile attack, communication with the battalion was
lost and the company commander and numerous members of the company became casualties. When
Sp4c. Cutinha observed that his company was pinned down and disorganized, he moved to the
front with complete disregard for his safety, firing his machinegun at the charging enemy.
As he moved forward he drew fire on his own position and was seriously wounded in the leg.
As the hostile fire intensified and half of the company was killed or wounded, Sp4c.
Cutinha assumed command of all the survivors in his area and initiated a withdrawal while
providing covering fire for the evacuation of the wounded. He killed several enemy
soldiers but sustained another leg wound when his machinegun was destroyed by incoming
rounds. Undaunted, he crawled through a hail of enemy fire to an operable machinegun in
order to continue the defense of his injured comrades who were being administered medical
treatment. Sp4c. Cutinha maintained this position, refused assistance, and provided
defensive fire for his comrades until he fell mortally wounded. He was solely responsible
for killing 15 enemy soldiers while saving the lives of at least 9 members of his own
unit. Sp4c. Cutinha's gallantry and extraordinary heroism were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and
the U.S. Army.