During 2019, Freedoms Foundation and the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove are paying tribute to the living recipients of the Medal of Honor on the anniversary of the actions for which they earned the nation’s highest award for valor.
The series continues with Spec. 4 Frank A. Herda, of the 101st Airborne Division, whose unit came under attack on June 29, 1968, at Dak To, Quang Trang Province, South Vietnam.
Frank A. Herda’s Medal of Honor citation reads:
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Herda (then Pfc.) distinguished himself while serving as a grenadier with Company A.
“Company A was part of a battalion-size night defensive perimeter when a large enemy force initiated an attack on the friendly units. While other enemy elements provided diversionary fire and indirect weapons fire to the west, a sapper force of approximately 30 men armed with hand grenades and small charges attacked Company A’s perimeter from the east.
“As the sappers were making a last, violent assault, five of them charged the position defended by Spec. 4 Herda and two comrades, one of whom was wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the foxhole. Spec. 4 Herda fired at the aggressors until they were within 10 feet of his position and one of their grenades landed in the foxhole.
“He fired one last round from his grenade launcher, hitting one of the enemy soldiers in the head, and then, with no concern for his safety, Spec. 4 Herda immediately covered the blast of the grenade with his body. The explosion wounded him grievously, but his selfless action prevented his two comrades from being seriously injured or killed and enabled the remaining defender to kill the other sappers.
“By his gallantry at the risk of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, Spec. 4 Herda has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”
The Cleveland native later became an author, publishing The Cup of Death: Chronicles of the Dragons of the Magi in 2007. The sequel, The Awakening, The Chronicles of the Dragons of the Magi, appeared the next year.
Keep up with Freedoms Foundation news and events here.