Search

Monday, November 3, 2008

First Lieutenant Russell A. Stiendam

Date & Location: February 1, 1970 - Tay Ninh Vietnam

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Troop B, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry, Division. Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 February 1970. Entered service at: Austin, Tex. Born: 27 August 1946, Austin, Tex. Citation: for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Steindam, Troop B, while serving as a platoon leader, led members of his platoon on a night ambush operation. On the way to the ambush site, suspected enemy movement was detected on 1 flank and the platoon's temporary position was subjected to intense small arms and automatic weapons fire as well as a fusillade of hand and rocket-propelled grenades. After the initial barrage, 1st Lt. Steindam ordered fire placed on the enemy position and the wounded men to be moved to a shallow bomb crater. As he directed the return fire against the enemy from his exposed position, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into the site occupied by his command group. Instantly realizing the extreme gravity of the situation, 1st Lt. Steindam shouted a warning to alert his fellow soldiers in the immediate vicinity. Then, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Steindam deliberately threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full and fatal force of the explosion as it detonated. By his gallant action and self-sacrifice, he was able to save the lives of the nearby members of his command group. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by 1st Lt. Steindam were an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.