GREEN BERETS Duffy, John Joseph

Craig Robertson

Staff member
John Joseph
  • UNIT
5th Special Forces / MACV Team 162
  • RANK
Distinguished Service Cross (upgraded to Medal of Honor, 2022), Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star x 4, Air Medal x 7
Vietnam, 1972
03.1955 enlisted
1972 MACV, Team 162
1967, 1968, 1971 & 1973 tours of Vietnam
DSC (upgraded to MOH, 2022), Soldier's Medal, 4 Bronze Stars with "Valor" Device, 8 Purple Hearts, 7 Air Medals (6 with "Valor" Device), 3 Army Commendation Medals
after service president of publishing company
president of investment firm
published 6 poetry books
2013 inducted Infantry Hall of Fame, Fort Benning, Georgia
resides Santa Cruz, California


Medal of Honor : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Infantry) John Joseph Duffy, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Major Duffy distinguished himself while serving as the Senior Advisor, 11th Airborne Battalion, Airborne Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam at Fire Support Base Charlie, Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam during the period 14 and 15 April 1972. Beginning with the morning of the 14th and continuing for a period of approximately twenty-four hours, Major Duffy repeatedly made heroic contributions to the defense of the fire base. When attempts at resupplying the base were still being considered, Major Duffy exposed himself to the effects of the continuous bombardment the base experienced as he targeted anti-aircraft weapons and adjusted airstrikes on them. When the resupply attempts were abandoned Major Duffy moved about the base, continuing to expose himself to the enemy fire, treating and finding shelter for wounded Vietnamese defenders. During the early evening initial ground assault, Major Duffy ignored the massive small arms fire as he adjusted gunships and artillery on the advancing enemy formations. When the enemy finally gained control of a portion of the base and advanced to within ten meters of his position, Major Duffy had the supporting gunships make a run directly on him. Eventually the fire base had to be abandoned. Major Duffy was the last man off the base, remaining behind to adjust the covering gunships until the last possible moment. After the Battalion Commander was wounded, Major Duffy assumed command and lead (sic) the formation through the night. Finally, when the battalion was ambushed and the unwounded soldiers abandoned their wounded comrades, Major Duffy remained with the wounded and eventually was able to arrange for their extraction. Major Duffy's conspicuous gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.