Eyewitness Statement of William F. Aronow and Cleo C. Hogan
|Eyewitness Statement of William F. Aronow and Cleo C. Hogan (1968)
|ARC #305373From the National Archives and Records Administration; Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia, 1950 - 1976; Series: Medal of Honor Awards Case Files, compiled 1965 - ca. 1972; File unit: Case File for Joe Hooper, ca. 1968 - ca. 1969;|
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
On 21 February 1968 Company D (2/501) was attacking a large enemy force well entrenched behind heavy bunkers, all linked by an intricate and complex trench system by which the enemy could bring deadly flanking and enfilade fire onto any attacking force. Running parallel to the enemy's lines were a woodline and stream. It was while attempting to cross the stream that the company encountered severe fire which momentarily delayed its advance. At this point Sgt Hooper rallied his squad by completely exposing himself to enemy fire and leading several men across the stream against the forward enemy positions. This action triggered a general movement and was tremendously responsible for generating the entire company forward.
Sgt Hooper was constantly exposing himself even as the fearful enemy fire increased as he evacuated wounded, shifted men, distributed ammunition, and pointed out targets. In the course of evacuating one of his men Sgt Hooper was wounded, but he refused first aid and evacuation and quickly returned to his men, taking extra ammunition with him. Throughout the remainder of the day Sgt Hooper was conspicuous, charging bunkers, braving intense fire, and leading his men over position after position, and not without cost. Inevitably Sgt Hooper was wounded several more times by grenade fragments, but he remained on the field and did not even stop to have his wounds treated. At one point he killed an enemy soldier with his bayonet when he was out of ammunition. Over all, Sgt Hooper can be directly credited with much of the success of Delta Company due to his great courage, inspiration, and leadership.
WILLIAM F. ARONOW
|FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||
CLEO C HOGAN