The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
FITZMAURICE, MICHAEL JOHN
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth
Class, U.S. Army, Troop D, 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division. Place
and date: Khesanh, Republic of Vietnam, 23 March 1971. Entered service at:
Jamestown, N. Dak. Born: 9 March 1950, Jamestown, N. Dak .
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice, 3d Platoon, Troop D, distinguished himself at
Khesanh. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and 3 fellow soldiers were occupying a bunker when a company of
North Vietnamese sappers infiltrated the area. At the onset of the attack Sp4c.
Fitzmaurice observed 3 explosive charges which had been thrown into the bunker by the
enemy. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades, and with complete disregard for his
personal safety, he hurled 2 of the charges out of the bunker. He then threw his flak vest
and himself over the remaining charge. By this courageous act he absorbed the blast and
shielded his fellow-soldiers. Although suffering from serious multiple wounds and partial
loss of sight, he charged out of the bunker, and engaged the enemy until his rifle was
damaged by the blast of an enemy hand grenade. While in search of another weapon, Sp4c.
Fitzmaurice encountered and overcame an enemy sapper in hand-to-hand combat. Having
obtained another weapon, he returned to his original fighting position and inflicted
additional casualties on the attacking enemy. Although seriously wounded, Sp4c.
Fitzmaurice refused to be medically evacuated, preferring to remain at his post. Sp4c.
Fitzmaurice's extraordinary heroism in action at the risk of his life contributed
significantly to the successful defense of the position and resulted in saving the lives
of a number of his fellow soldiers. These acts of heroism go above and beyond the call of
duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect
great credit on Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and the U.S. Army.