Kedenburg, John J, SP 5

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Specialist 5
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
05B-Radio Operator
Last MOS Group
Signal Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1967-1968, 11B10, MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)
Service Years
1965 - 1968

Special Forces
Specialist 5

One Service Stripe

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper (ATWS Senior Military Advisor) to remember Kedenburg, John J, SP 5.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Baldwin, NY.
Last Address
Brooklyn, New York

Casualty Date
Jun 14, 1968
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Vietnam, South
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Long Island National Cemetery - Farmingdale, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
57W, 17

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Parachutist (Basic)


 Unit Assignments
Command & Control Central (CCC)/Reconnaissance Team NevadaMACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)
  1967-1968, 11B10, Command & Control Central (CCC)/Reconnaissance Team Nevada
  1967-1968, 11B10, MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1955-1973 Vietnam War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

13 Jun 68; John J. Kedenburg, SP/5, USASF, FOB 2, Kontum, RT Nevada, Ops 35, KIA-RR, Medal of Honor Winner. The team was attacked and encircled by a Battalion sized enemy force. SP/5 Kedenburg assumed command of the team and broke out of the encirclement. The team moved to an possible extraction point and Kedenburg conducted the rear guard action against the enemy. His action allowed the team to reach the LZ with of one SCU unaccounted for. A perimeter defense was established and TAC air support and extraction helicopters arrived. Half of the team was extracted leaving Kendenburg and 3 indig personnel who harnessed themselves to the slings and as the helicopter was about to lift off when the unaccounted forth man appeared. SP/5 Kedenburg gave up his place on the sling, directing the helicopter to leave. Witnesses aboard the helicopters watched Kedenburg engaged the enemy single handily, killing six enemy soldiers before he collapsed, mortally wounded. The last air strike went on top of Kedenburg’s location. (Note: Kedenburg was on the operation with RT Nevada on 15 Dec 67 when One-Zero, Dan Wagner, Jr. was killed. Somehow, Kedenburg was able to get Wagner’s body out and earned the leadership position of RT Nevada.


The President of the United States,
in the name of the Congress,
takes pride in presenting the

Medal of Honor

posthumously to

John James Kedenburg
Specialist 5, United States Army

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SP5 Kedenburg, U.S. Army, Command and Control Detachment North, Forward Operating Base 2, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), distinguished himself while serving as advisor to a long-range reconnaissance team of South Vietnamese irregular troops. The team's mission was to conduct counter-guerrilla operations deep within enemy-held territory. prior to reaching the day's objective, the team was attacked and encircled by a battalion-size North Vietnamese Army force. SP5 Kedenburg assumed immediate command of the team which succeeded, after a fierce fight, in breaking out of the encirclement. As the team moved through thick jungle to a position from which it could be extracted by helicopter, SP5 Kedenburg conducted a gallant rear guard fight against the pursuing enemy and called for tactical air support and rescue helicopters. His withering fire against the enemy permitted the team to reach a preselected landing zone with the loss of only 1 man, who was unaccounted for. Once in the landing zone, SP5 Kedenburg deployed the team into a perimeter defense against the numerically superior enemy force. When tactical air support arrived, he skillfully directed air strikes against the enemy, suppressing their fire so that helicopters could hover over the area and drop slings to be used in the extraction of the team. After half of the team was extracted by helicopter, SP5 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 directed the helicopter pilot to leave the area. He then continued to engage the enemy who were swarming into the landing zone, killing 6 enemy soldiers before he was overpowered. SP5 Kedenburg's inspiring leadership, consummate courage and willing self-sacrifice permitted his small team to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy and escape almost certain annihilation. His actions reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

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