Coyle, James Michael, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1964-1964, 1542, HHC, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV)
Service Years
1961 - 1964



 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by 1LT Denny Eister to remember Coyle, James Michael, CPT.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Camp Kilmer
Last Address
Camp Kilmer

Casualty Date
Aug 20, 1964
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Kien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
West Point Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 062

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2019, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1964-1964, 1542, Special Detachment 5891, HQ MACV
  1964-1964, 1542, HHC, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1957-1961, United States Military Academy
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Captain (Infantry) James Michael Coyle, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.

Captain Coyle distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 20 August 1964 as an Assistant Advisor to a battalion of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam. Captain Coyle demonstrated fortitude, professional skill, and determination while accompanying the friendly units on a military mission. When the Vietnamese battalion was suddenly ambushed by hostile elements, he bravely exposed himself to the heavy gunfire to cover the withdrawal of the friendly forces. During the ensuing engagement in which the enemy launched several vicious assaults, he displayed complete disregard for his own personal safety by remaining in an exposed position to defend the friendly troops.

Although a severe wound forced him to take cover in a ditch temporarily, he ignored his own wound, climbed back up the bank, and continued to annihilate a great number of enemy troops during a violent battle that lasted one hour and forty minutes. Despite the overwhelming onslaught, he continued his courageous efforts until he succumbed to his mortal wound.

Captain Coyle's conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroic actions are in the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service. General Orders: Department of the Army,

General Orders No. 8 (March 9, 1965)
Action Date: 20-Aug-64
Service: Army
Rank: Captain
Company: Assistant Advisor
Division: Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
Then 1st Lt. James Coyle, Captain William Ragin, Captain Byron Stone and SFC Tom Ward were serving as advisors to the 41st ARVN Ranger Battalion.  They were part of Special Detachment (SD)-5891, HQ, MACV Advisors, MACV.

They were all killed in the ambush that occurred near the Phu Tuc Outpost (near Ben Tre in Kien Hoa Province).

On 5 February, they were posthumously awarded the DSC 1965 for their service.

Capt. Coyle left a wife and two children.

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