Washington: US President Donald Trump awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour to retired US Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. John L. Canley for his heroic actions 50 years ago during the battle of Hue City, one of the bloodiest scuffles of the Vietnam War.
“Fifty years ago, an American Marine fought with unmatched bravery in one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War – the Battle of Hue City,” Trump said on Wednesday during the ceremony.
“The name of that heroic Marine is Sgt. Major John Canley.”
The 80-year-old veteran received the nation’s highest military honour during an event at the White House.
One day before he turned 30, Canley’s unit headed to the city of Hue to provide support to the troops cornered by the North Vietnam Army in the former imperial capital.
When his commanding officer was gravely wounded, Canley took the lead of his garrison, which provided support to other US and South Vietnamese troops waging against approximately 6,000 enemy soldiers, Trump added.
For six straight days, the two armies faced off against the adversaries, during which time he was caught in a “deadly crossfire”, darting into the open so his Marines could seize a building and carried wounded soldiers to safety while exposing himself to the enemy.
“Despite sustaining serious injuries – very, very serious injuries – John continued to face down the enemy with no thought for his own safety,” praised Trump.
Throughout his military career, from which he retired in 1981, Canley received many military awards, including the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.