"Above the Best"
Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1998 Induction
Specialist Fourth Class Joseph G. LaPointe, Jr., a member of the 2d Air Cavalry Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division, was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in Quang Tin Province on 2 June 1969.
SP4 LaPointe distinguished himself while serving as a medical aidman during a combat helicopter assault mission. SP4 LaPointe's patrol was advancing from the landing zone through an adjoining valley when it suddenly encountered heavy automatic weapons fire from a large enemy force entrenched in well fortified bunker positions. In the initial burst of fire, two soldiers in the formation vanguard were seriously wounded. Hearing a call for aid from one of the wounded, SP4 LaPointe ran forward through heavy fire to assist his fallen comrades. To reach the wounded men, he was forced to crawl directly in view of an enemy bunker. As members of his unit attempted to provide covering fire, he administered first aid to one man, shielding the other with his body. SP4 LaPointe continued his lifesaving duties until he was again wounded and knocked to the ground. Making strenuous efforts he moved back again into a shielding position to continue administering first aid. An exploding enemy grenade mortally wounded all three men. SP4 LaPointe's courageous actions at the cost of his life were an inspiration to his comrades. His gallantry and selflessness are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.