SP5 JOHN J. KEDENBURG
5th SFG (Abn), 1st Special Forces
Forward Operating Base 2, RVN
13 June 1968
Sp5 Kedenburg was serving as an advisor to a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) made up of South Vietnamese irregular troops
The mission was to conduct counter-guerrilla operations deep within enemy-held territory.
Kedenburg’s team was encircled by a battalion-size North Vietnamese Army force.
He took the initiative and assumed immediate command of the team then engaged the enemy.
Kedenburg managed to break out of the encirclement, but only after a fierce firefight.
He led the defensive effort at the rear so the team could move to a position where air extraction was possible.
Kedenburg’s withering fire on enemy attackers allowed the team to reach the LZ losing only one man,
When tactical air support arrived, Kedenburg skillfully directed airstrikes against the enemy, suppressing their fire so that helicopters could extract the team.
With only half of his team was extracted Kedenburg and the remaining 3 members of the team harnessed themselves to the sling on a second hovering helicopter.
Just as the helicopter was to lift them out of the area, the South Vietnamese team member who had been unaccounted for after the initial encounter with the enemy appeared in the landing zone.
Sp5. Kedenburg unhesitatingly gave up his place in the sling to the man and gave the aircrew the order to “Di Di Mau.” (“GO NOW”)
Kendenburg stood his ground and engaged the enemy as they swarmed the LZ killing 6 enemy soldiers.
He gave his own life so that his team could be extracted.
Fratribus Sine Pari