MSG CHARLES (SNAKE) ERNEST HOSKING JR.
5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Phuoc Long Province, RVN
21 March 1967
MSG Hosking (then Sfc.), respectfully referred to as “SNAKE HOSKINS” by his men, was
serving as company advisor in the III Corps Civilian Irregular Defense Group Reaction Battalion during combat operations in Don Luan District. A suspected infiltrator was apprehended and identified as a Viet Cong sniper.
While the enemy prisoner was being prepared for movement to the rear, he suddenly grabbed a hand grenade from MSG Hosking’s web belt. Armed the grenade, the enemy soldier started running towards the company command group which consisted of 2 Americans and 2 Vietnamese who were standing a few feet away.
Instantly realizing that the enemy intended to kill the commanders, MSG Hosking jumped on the Viet Cong’s back. He grasped the Viet Cong in a “Bear Hug” forcing the grenade against the enemy soldier’s chest. Hosking wrestled the Viet Cong to the ground and covered the enemy’s body with his body until the grenade detonated. The blast instantly killed both MSG Hosking and the Viet Cong.
By absorbing the full force of the exploding grenade with his body and that of the enemy, he saved the other members of his command group from death or serious injury.