BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D. Some might say I am biased, born and raised in Northern Indiana. Having written about a lot of MEDAL Of Honor recipients, it’s always struck me that the ones from Indiana had real grit. Lynch is an example of that. Although his job was being a radio man, when he saw three of his mates wounded and about to be overrun by an advancing and numerically superior enemy force, he took off his radio pack and moved through 70 meters of open ground and a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid to his wounded mates. That’s what I call Hoosier grit.
Born on October 28, 1945, in Chicago, Lynch grew up in the Lake Eliza area of Porter County, Indiana, where he attended Union Center Elementary School and Wheeler Junior High School.
Lynch joined the Army from Chicago in 1964, and by December 15, 1967, was serving as a specialist four in Company D, 1st Battalion (Airmobile),12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). During a firefight on that day, near My An Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, Lynch not only rescued the three wounded soldiers, he stayed behind to protect them when the rest of the company withdrew. He single-handedly defended the wounded men against enemy attack until locating a friendly force which could evacuate them. Lynch was subsequently promoted to sergeant and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. The medal was formally presented to him by President Richard Nixon in 1970.
He has volunteered for the Vietnam Veterans of America organization, is the liaison for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and frequently gives speeches at military-related events, such as Memorial Day ceremonies.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). place and date: Near My An (2), Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 December 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 28 October 1945, Chicago, Ill.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information which subsequently proved essential to the unit’s successful actions. Observing 3 wounded comrades lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across 50 meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed 2 enemy soldiers at point blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area 3 times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for 2 hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing 5. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed 70 meters of exposed terrain 5 times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the 3 casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army.
// Richard Nixon // President
Of the millions of men and women who have served the United States Armed Services, only 3,468 have ever been awarded our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of one’s life above and beyond the call of duty.
Allen Lynch is a true American Hero, America owes Mr. Lynch and indeed all veterans an enormous debt of gratitude for their service in the war. Mr. Lynch went on to advocate for our veterans after he returned home. Lynch has settled in Gurnee and became a front line advocate for increased benefits for disabled veterans as an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Later, Lynch went on to serve as Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s Veterans Rights Bureau until his retirement in 2005.
I and all Hoosiers are honored that our State produces men like Lynch.
The information in this article was sourced from a variety of sources both internal and external. Every effort was made to ensure that the information is current and correct. These articles are presented to honor the heroes they are written about.
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.