No Greater Love
The Story of Michael Crescenz, Philadelphia’s Only Medal of Honor Recipient of the Vietnam War
208 Pages, 6 x 9 in
- September 2022
- In Stock
Michael Crescenz grew up in one of Philadelphia’s booming post-war Catholic neighborhoods, distinguishing himself early on as a leader, brother and friend who fearlessly rose to the defense of others in need. The second of six sons born to a World War II veteran, Michael was known for his big smile, athletic abilities, toughness and fierce competitive spirit. Growing up, Michael’s world revolved around his family, parish, local playgrounds, and the bustling Catholic schools he attended from first grade through high school graduation. All these influences shaped the man he would become – the one who felt a sense of duty to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army to do his part during the Vietnam War.
He was in Vietnam barely two months when his unit, the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, was sent into battle against deeply entrenched enemy forces on Nui Chom Mountain, the fortress in the clouds tucked away in the far northwest corner of South Vietnam near the borders with North Vietnam and Laos. Commanders knew they were in for a fight, but didn’t know the enemy had more than 250 machine gun bunkers deployed along the mountain’s slopes. On November 20, 1968, Alpha Company was ambushed on the wet jungle mountainside, the NVA taking down the two men up front and pinning down the rest with relentless fire.
Thinking first of the danger to those around him, Private First Class Michael J. Crescenz picked up an M60 machine gun and charged the enemy bunkers. He did not survive but his actions saved the lives of his fellow soldiers and allowed them to advance and ultimately prevail. For his valor and sacrifice, Michael was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
No Greater Love tells this story from the perspective of those who loved Michael Crescenz most, close friends, family, Michael’s commanding officer in Vietnam, retired Lieutenant General Sam Wetzel, and medic William “Doc” Stafford, the soldier closest to Michael when he was cut down by enemy fire and who believes to this day that he survived Nui Chom only because of the selfless actions of Private First Class Crescenz.
Chapter II: Family
Chapter III: Community
Chapter IV: Call to Service
Chapter V: Battle of Nui Chom Mountain
Chapter VI: Medal of Honor
Chapter VII: White House
Chapter VIII: Arlington
Chapter IX: VA Hospital
Chapter X: Legacy
"The book’s array of excellent color photographs adds additional distinction to Michael’s short life." ~The VVA Veteran
"Vietnam produced many heroes, and this story is about one of those young men who gave his life to save his comrades. There is no higher honor, and no greater Americans." ~Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, U.S. Marine Corps
"Through the words of family and friends, the authors have painted a vivid and moving picture of an early life in 1950s and 1960s Philadelphia that created the foundation for Michael Crescenz’s selfless act of extraordinary heroism. Add the sacred bond that existed among the soldiers of 4-31 Infantry, and one can understand why, amid the fiery hell of close ground combat, Michael Crescenz rose to confront and silence the entrenched enemy gunners who were killing and wounding his buddies." ~John F. Dolan, Former Commander, Alpha Company, 4/31 Infantry
"I like the flow of the book. I can close my eyes and see the battle all over again. Thanks for doing such an amazing job." ~William “Doc” Stafford, combat medic, 4/31 Infantry, whose life was saved by Michael Crescenz
"This timely book illustrates how our heroes come from many backgrounds and social strata. Michael Crescenz was one of many Americans whose family also served our nation in several conflicts with honor, dignity and heroism." ~Colin D. Heaton, author and historian
"Nothing about Michael’s heroism surprised those who knew him. His strength of character was built at home, and on the streets and playing fields of Philadelphia. Michael hated bullies and he never backed down. It was this part of him that I imagine spurred him to say 'enough of this' and charge those bunkers." ~Tom Gosse, Captain, U.S. Army infantry, neighborhood friend of Michael Crescenz
"Michael’s valor, loyalty and tenacity on the November, 20, 1968, saved the rest of his entire company by silencing the well-entrenched enemy without hesitation or regard for his own life. He will never be forgotten." ~Tom Roberts, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam veteran
“…we highly recommend you read this tremendous story of service, sacrifice, and valor.” ~Broad and Liberty
"[A] true biography... No Greater Love will stay with you after the last page. [It's] a worthy nonfiction title, capturing the Philadelphia-born soldier’s life with passion and painting a vivid and heartbreaking picture of the heroic efforts that ended his life." ~Broad Street Review