b. 23/07/1936 Silver City, New Mexico. d. 16/03/2003 Honolulu, Hawaii.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/12/1966 Kim Song Valley, Vietnam.
Jennings joined the Army from San Francisco, California in 1956, and by December 27, 1966, was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division. On that day, at Firebase Bird in the Kim Song Valley in the Republic of Vietnam, Jennings’ unit came under heavy enemy attack. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
He received his Medal from President Lyndon B. Johnson at The White House on September 19, 1968. He was also stationed at (then) Camp A.P. Hill, Virginia, in 1968-1969 as the Headquarters Company First Sergeant, and in 1969-1971 with the 6th Infantry in [then] West Berlin, Germany.
Jennings reached the rank of Command Sergeant Major before leaving the Army in 1985. He died at age 66 and was originally buried in Honolulu but was later re-interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Part of Company C was defending an artillery position when attacked by a North Vietnamese Army regiment supported by mortar, recoilless-rifle, and machine-gun fire. At the outset, Sgt. Jennings sprang to his bunker, astride the main attack route, and slowed the on-coming enemy wave with highly effective machine-gun fire. Despite a tenacious defense in which he killed at least 12 of the enemy, his squad was forced to the rear. After covering the withdrawal of the squad, he rejoined his men, destroyed an enemy demolition crew about to blow up a nearby howitzer, and killed three enemy soldiers at his initial bunker position. Ordering his men back into a secondary position, he again covered their withdrawal, killing one enemy with the butt of his weapon. Observing that some of the defenders were unaware of a enemy force in their rear, he raced through a fire-swept area to warn the men, turn their fire on the enemy, and lead them into a secondary perimeter. Assisting in the defense of the new position, he aided the air-landing of reinforcements by throwing white phosphorous grenades on the landing zone despite dangerously silhouetting himself with the light. After helping to repulse the final enemy assaults, he led a group of volunteers well beyond friendly lines to an area where eight seriously wounded men lay. Braving enemy sniper fire and ignoring the presence of booby traps in the area, they recovered the eight men who would have probably perished without early medical treatment. Sgt. Jenning’s extraordinary heroism and inspirational leadership saved the lives of many of his comrades and contributed greatly to the defeat of a superior enemy force. His actions stand with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
SECTION 7A, GRAVE 157.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.