Nicholas Joseph “Porky” Cutinha MOH

b. 13/01/1945 Fernandina Beach, Florida. d. 02/03/1968 Gia Dinh, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 02/03/1968 Gia Dinh, Vietnam.

Nicholas J Cutinha MOH

Cutinha joined the Army from Coral Gables, Florida in 1967, and by March 2, 1968, was serving as a Specialist Four in Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. During a firefight on that day, near Gia Dinh in the Republic of Vietnam, Cutinha held the enemy at bay with his machine gun and provided suppressive fire to allow for the evacuation of wounded soldiers, despite his own serious wounds. He was killed during the battle and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. Cutinha, age 23 at his death, was buried in Fort Denaud Cemetery, Fort Denaud, Florida. His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his family by President Richard M. Nixon on 7 April 1970. 

Cutinha’s Medal of Honor is under the custodianship of American Legion Post 130 in LaBelle, Florida, where it is on public display. American Legion Post 130 (Florida) is the only known American Legion Post with custodianship of a Medal of Honor.



While serving as a machine gunner with Company C, Sp4c. Cutinha accompanied his unit on a combat mission near Gia Dinh. Suddenly his company came under small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket propelled grenade fire, from a battalion size enemy unit. During the initial hostile attack, communication with the battalion was lost and the company commander and numerous members of the company became casualties. When Sp4c. Cutinha observed that his company was pinned down and disorganized, he moved to the front with complete disregard for his safety, firing his machine gun at the charging enemy. As he moved forward he drew fire on his own position and was seriously wounded in the leg. As the hostile fire intensified and half of the company was killed or wounded, Sp4c. Cutinha assumed command of all the survivors in his area and initiated a withdrawal while providing covering fire for the evacuation of the wounded. He killed several enemy soldiers but sustained another leg wound when his machine gun was destroyed by incoming rounds. Undaunted, he crawled through a hail of enemy fire to an operable machine gun in order to continue the defense of his injured comrades who were being administered medical treatment. Sp4c. Cutinha maintained this position, refused assistance, and provided defensive fire for his comrades until he fell mortally wounded.