The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*LaPOINTE, JOSEPH G., JR.
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth
Class, U.S. Army, 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division . Place and
date: Quang Tin province, Republic of Vietnam, 2 June 1969. Entered service at:
Cincinnati, Ohio. Born: 2 July 1948, Dayton, Ohio.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Lapointe, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Squadron,
distinguished himself while serving as a medical aidman during a combat helicopter assault
mission. Sp4c. Lapointe's patrol was advancing from the landing zone through an adjoining
valley when it suddenly encountered heavy automatic weapons fire from a large enemy force
entrenched in well fortified bunker positions. In the initial hail of fire, 2 soldiers in
the formation vanguard were seriously wounded. Hearing a call for aid from 1 of the
wounded, Sp4c. Lapointe ran forward through heavy fire to assist his fallen comrades. To
reach the wounded men, he was forced to crawl directly in view of an enemy bunker. As
members of his unit attempted to provide covering fire, he administered first aid to 1
man, shielding the other with his body. He was hit by a burst of fire from the bunker
while attending the wounded soldier. In spite of his painful wounds, Sp4c. Lapointe
continued his lifesaving duties until he was again wounded and knocked to the ground.
Making strenuous efforts, he moved back again into a shielding position to continue
administering first aid. An exploding enemy grenade mortally wounded all 3 men. Sp4c.
Lapointe's courageous actions at the cost of his life were an inspiration to his comrades.
His gallantry and selflessness are in the highest traditions of the military service and
reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.