Michael Joseph Crescenz MOH

b. 14/01/1949 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. d. 20/11/1968 Hiep Duc, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 20/11/1968 Hiep Duc, Vietnam.

Michael J Crescenz MOH

Michael J. Crescenz was born in Philadelphia on January 14, 1949. In 1962, he graduated from St. Athanasius School in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia and from Cardinal Dougherty High School in 1966. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1968. He shipped out to Vietnam in September 1968, the same month that his older brother Charles, a United States Marine who had served 13 months in Vietnam, was discharged from active duty.

Crescenz received a posthumous promotion to the rank of Corporal. He was the only Philadelphian to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. He was survived by his parents and five brothers. His Medal of Honor was presented to his family by President Richard M. Nixon in a White House ceremony on April 7, 1970. To respect his parents’ wishes, Cpl. Crescenz was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania. In 2008, after the death of his parents, Michael Crescenz was reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery.



Cpl. Crescenz distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a rifleman with Company A. In the morning his unit engaged a large, well-entrenched force of the North Vietnamese Army whose initial burst of fire pinned down the lead squad and killed the 2 point men, halting the advance of Company A. Immediately, Cpl. Crescenz left the relative safety of his own position, seized a nearby machine gun and, with complete disregard for his safety, charged 100 meters up a slope toward the enemy’s bunkers which he effectively silenced, killing the 2 occupants of each. Undaunted by the withering machine gun fire around him, Cpl. Crescenz courageously moved forward toward a third bunker which he also succeeded in silencing, killing 2 more of the enemy and momentarily clearing the route of advance for his comrades. Suddenly, intense machine gun fire erupted from an unseen, camouflaged bunker. Realizing the danger to his fellow soldiers, Cpl. Crescenz disregarded the barrage of hostile fire directed at him and daringly advanced toward the position. Assaulting with his machine gun, Cpl. Crescenz was within 5 meters of the bunker when he was mortally wounded by the fire from the enemy machine gun.