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1ST  LT  RUSSELL  A.  STEINDAM
US ARMY

Russell Albert Steindam was born Tuesday, August 27, 1946, and graduated from Plano High School, a member of the National Honor Society, in 1964. He then attended the University of Texas, where he excelled in ROTC. Upon graduation, in 1968, he chose a career in the US Army, and not only became an armored vehicle commander, but earned the wings of an Army Ranger as well. In October of 1969, he left his expectant young wife at home, and reported for duty in Vietnam as an Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander, with to B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment. B Troop served as the reconnaissance unit for the 25th Infantry Division. Their area of operation stretched from around Saigon, all the way west to the border of Cambodia. Some of the most infamous battles of the war were fought in their sector: Ho Bo Woods, the Bo Loi Woods, the Iron Triangle, the Ben Cui and Michelin Rubber Plantations, and the Parrot’s Beak. The night of February 1, 1970, found Russell in charge of a fifteen-man squad with the mission of establishing a night ambush. The night ambush patrol was not necessarily a job that anyone would volunteer for, nor look forward to, especially an officer who was an Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander. He felt more at home commanding an armored assault vehicle, but he also wore the prestigious wings of an Army Ranger. Lt. Steindam assigned himself to take charge of that night’s mission. It would be his last mission. Russell Steindam died that night when he dove onto an enemy hand grenade in order to save the lives of his men.

Medals Awarded:
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR
BRONZE STAR (2)

 COMBAT INFANTRYMAN'S BADGE
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON
MILITARY MERIT MEDAL
GALLANTRY CROSS with PALM 

 

1st Lt. Russell Steindam ROTC Cadet Russell Steindam

 


The President of the United States
 in the name of Congress
 takes pride in presenting the
 MEDAL OF HONOR
 posthumously to
 RUSSELL ALBERT STEINDAM
 1st Lieutenant, United States Army
 
Congressional Medal of Honor

for service as set forth in the following 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, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 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 one 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 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 was an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the U. S. Army.

If you would like to leave a memorial message in the memory of Russell Steindam, Go Here.

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