Medal of Honor



Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 4th Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade


Place and date: Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 3 July 1969


Entered service at: Chicago, Illinois


Born: 4 January 1950, Minneapolis, Minnesota




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Blanchfield distinguished himself while serving

 as a rifleman in Company A on a combat patrol. The patrol surrounded a group of houses to search for suspects. During the search of 1 of the huts, a man

 suddenly ran out toward a nearby tree line. Sp4c. Blanchfield, who was on guard outside the hut, saw the man, shouted for him to halt, and began firing at him

 as the man ignored the warning and continued to run. The suspect suddenly threw a grenade toward the hut and its occupants. Although the exploding grenade

 severely wounded Sp4c. Blanchfield and several others, he regained his feet to continue the pursuit of the enemy. The fleeing enemy threw a second grenade

 which landed near Sp4c. Blanchfield and several members of his patrol. Instantly realizing the danger, he shouted a warning to his comrades. Sp4c. Blanchfield

 unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full and fatal impact of the explosion. By his gallant action

 and self sacrifice, he was able to save the lives and prevent injury to 4 members of the patrol and several Vietnamese civilians in the immediate area. Sp4c.

 Blanchfield's extraordinary courage and gallantry at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military

 service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.




Thanks to SSG David Bata for the above photograph.


--- General / Personal ---



First name: MICHAEL R

Home of Record (official): ARLINGTON HEIGHTS

State (official): IL

Date of Birth: Wednesday, January 4, 1950

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Army

Rank: SP4

Serial Number: 318442519

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E4

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B1P


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Saturday, February 22, 1969

Date of Casualty: Thursday, July 3, 1969

Age at time of loss: 19

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Other explosive device (Ground casualty)

Country: South Vietnam

Province: Binh Dinh

The Wall: Panel 21W - Row 050