Courage in Combat

Stories By and About Recipients of the Nation’s Highest Decorations

An anthology of pieces by and about the recipients of the United States' highest decorations, focusing on the theme of courage in combat.
Date Published :
March 2017
Publisher :
Editor :
Richard Rinaldo
Contributor(s) :
Joseph Galloway
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781612004563
Pages : 400
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Published in conjunction with the Legion of Valor of the United States of America, this book tells stories about our military heroes from the Civil War onward. They relate personal accounts and reflections on combat and war from members of the Legion of Valor of the Unites States of America, Inc. and their friends. Courage in Combat explores the concept of courage through aspects of the lives, thoughts, and actions of this elite group. They are recipients of the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, and the Air Force Cross. Their awards are our nation’s highest military decorations, given only to one in 20,000 combatants. Among them are sergeants and generals as well as corpsmen, civilians, engineers, “grunts,” and paratroopers. There are men and women, a mess attendant, aviators, spies and POWs, a cavalry scout, candidates for sainthood, and a President of the United States.

This book also includes a short history of this unique group, America’s oldest military service organization, and an extensive list of its members, past and present.

Courage in Combat discusses the nature of courage, explores the different ways in which courage is shown, and celebrates the courage shown by these recipients, most of whom would say, “I was just doing my job.”

About The Author

Richard (Rich) J. Rinaldo is a retired Army lieutenant colonel, who commanded a rifle company in Vietnam. He served in U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, where he wrote about peacekeeping and homeland defense. He also served at Hofstra University, where he taught Military History to cadets and other students. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and National Defense University's National Security Management Course, the Command and General Staff College, and West Point’s History of the Military Art course. He has a B.A. Degree in History from Fordham University and post-graduate degrees from Hofstra University.


Foreword Joseph L. Galloway
Introduction: Golden Deeds

Karl Marlantes, Navy Cross

Heroes of the Vietnam Generation
James Webb, Navy Cross

The Context of Courage for Infantry in Vietnam
Lieutenant Colonel Barry D. Gasdek, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

Battle at Camp A Shau 1966
Bennie G. Adkins, USA, Medal of Honor

Taming the Wild West
William Frederick Cody, “Buffalo Bill,” Medal of Honor

Hit, Hit, and Hit Again
S. Donald Singelstad, Distinguished Service Cross

Days of Valor: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War
Robert L. Tonsetic, Distinguished Service Cross

To Serve, and To Sacrifice
Jared C. Monti, USA, Medal of Honor

Vietnam Letters
Daniel P. Garcia and General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

Memories of Dai Do
Brigadier General William Weise, USMC Ret., Navy Cross

Lieutenant Colonel Richard J. Rinaldo, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

William E. Davis III, USNR, Navy Cross

Millett’s Charge
J. C. Bean

George S. Patton As We Knew Him
Brigadier General John C. “Doc” Bahnsen, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

The Unknown Legend
Colonel Peter J. Ortiz, USMC, Navy Cross With Gold Star
Lance Corporal Benjamin Harris

Fighting on the Long, Hard Road
James Megellas, Distinguished Service Cross

Operation Red Wings
Michael P. Murphy, USN, Medal of Honor

Keep Your Boots On
Jill Jorden Spitz

Valor at Oahu
Tim Frank

The Silver Cross for Valor

“Gallantry and Intrepidity”
Valor Decorations in Current and Past Conflicts
Eileen Chollet

Recognizing Valor
Lieutenant Colonel Richard J. Rinaldo, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

A Medal of Honor for a Vietnam-era Air Force Pilot?
Fred L. Borch

Cherishing Valiant Deeds
Honorary Member B. G. Burkett

Introduction to the Army and Navy Legion of Valor of the United States of America
Frank La Fayette Anders, Medal of Honor

History of the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.
Judy C. Campbell

Repatriation of a Hero from Korea
Lieutenant Colonel Donald C. Faith, Medal of Honor
David Vergun

America Needs the Legion of Valor
Vice Admiral J. Paul Reason

Preserving the History of Valor Awards
Honorary Member C. Douglas Sterner

Making D-Day Work
Leonard G. “Bud” Lomell, Distinguished Service Cross

America’s Greatest Female Spy of World War II
Virginia Hall, Distinguished Service Cross

The Admiral’s Legacy
Jeremiah Denton’s life and work
Commander Joseph McInerney

Leading and Inspiring Prisoners of War
Admiral James B. Stockdale, Medal of Honor

Rocky the Reactionary
Captain Humbert R. Versace, Medal of Honor
C. Douglas Sterner

Determined Assault on Hill 329
Willis Jackson, Distinguished Service Cross

Father of the Disabled American Veterans
Robert S. Marx, Distinguished Service Cross

Pioneer, Fighter, Trainer
Kurt Chew-Een Lee, Navy Cross

Six Seconds
Lieutenant General John F. Kelly, USMC

Returning Fire at Pearl Harbor
Doris Miller, Navy Cross

The Roosevelt Medals of Honor

Fighter Ace and Prisoner of War
Robinson Risner, Air Force Cross

Taking Charge of Tough Jobs
Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., Medal of Honor

Ranger Hall of Fame
Richard D. “Tex” Wandke, Distinguished Service Cross
Robert L. Tonsetic, Distinguished Service Cross

Volunteers at the “Home of the Legion of Valor”

Medics, Medevacs, and Chaplains
Lieutenant Colonel Richard J. Rinaldo, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

Combat Medic’s Requiem
John J. Duffy, Distinguished Service Cross

Incredible Medevacs in Vietnam
Michael J. Novosel, Medal of Honor
Peter Dorland

Army Chaplain Who Saved Prisoners of War
Father Emil J. Kapuan, Medal of Honor
David Vergun

Daring Rescue at Kham Duc
Lieutenant Colonel Joe M. Jackson, Medal of Honor
C. Douglas Sterner

Saving Lives Under Fire in the Vietnam Jungle
Claude C. “Pete” Quick, Distinguished Service Cross

Conscientious Objector Who Saved Lives on Okinawa
PFC Desmond T. Doss, Medal of Honor
Robert L. Ampula

Saving Wounded Marines in Iraq
Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca Jr., Navy Cross
Raymond L. Applewhite

What is a Navy Corpsman?
Robert Cowan

Navy Chaplain on the Front Lines
Father Vincent Capodanno, Medal of Honor
Doyle D. Glass

Nurses on the Western Front

The Combat Medic Prayer

Woman Ahead of Her Time
Mary Edwards Walker, Medal of Honor
Rudi Williams

Pararescue in Afghanistan
Senior Airman Jason Dean Cunningham, Air Force Cross

James B. Morehead Saves a Bomber Base

Hot Sauce
Colonel Philip C. Conran, USAF, Ret., Air Force Cross

Tennessee Two-Step
A Small Incident in a Large War
Roger Norland

George H. W. Bush the “Ace,” The Night the Lights Went Out at Vladivostok, and The Lobster Run
William C. Raposa, USN, Ret., Navy Cross with Gold Star

“The Whole Damn Battlefield is my Monument”
Major General Daniel E. Sickles, Medal of Honor

Chivalry or Certain Doom Above Germany
Charles L. Brown, Air Force Cross

Brigadier General William J. Mullen III, USA Ret., Distinguished Service Cross

Some Suffer in Survival
Colonel Bruce W. Reagan, Distinguished Service Cross

A Life’s Passion
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas A. Richards, USMC, Ret., Navy Cross

Ode to Joe
Joseph Bruni

Dead Soldiers’ Breath
Ron Tranmer

Honoring Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn and His Stirring Eulogy on Iwo Jima
Bruce Braley

Last Retreats

Lieutenant Colonel Richard D. Wandke, US Army

Appendix 1
A Brief History of the Legion Of Valor

Appendix 2
Books and Sites by or about Members and Friends of the Legion of Valor

Appendix 3
Members Past and Present and Volunteers


"“Courage in Combat,” which comes out March 9, is a mix of letters and first-person accounts which are at times tinged with nostalgia, yet simultaneously harrowing and enlightening. It reads less like a collection of individual stories or anecdotes and more like a meditation on the effects of combat."

- James Clark, Task & Purpose

"This terrific book provides staggering accounts of heroism and selfless service. In reading it, every young soldier would ask themselves: What caused these brave souls to do these things, and could I have done the same? Just by asking those questions, they will be ready to be part of the next generations of heroes that perform the same type of miracles."

- Lieutenant General Mark Hertling (Ret.), CNN Military Analyst

"This amazing man should be the subject of a biopic or at the very least a documentary! Dan Snow, this is one for you, I think..."

- Books Monthly

"An interesting mix of human trauma and triumph, and tactical detail - recommended for Vietnam enthusiasts in particular.”

- Miniature Wargames

“The entries Rinaldo includes are moving, motivating, awe-inspiring, from the heart, and replete with examples of commitment to country, mission, and fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. He set out to highlight the best of members of the Armed Forces, to stimulate patriotism, and to engender national pride. He did so, hands down. It is, however, not the interesting pieces of history this book unveils that make it a must read for current and future members of the Profession of Arms. Rather, it is the nature of courage that the stories, articles, reflections, speeches, and poems reveal. It is the personal conduct of these heroes that we should understand and to which we should all aspire.”

- Military Review

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