How a bloody Ka-Bar knife fight during the Vietnam War got this Marine a Navy Cross 52 years later
Marine Corps Times
By: Shawn Snow
April 8, 2019
For his heroism under fire, Stogner was finally awarded the Navy Cross nearly 52 years after his actions saved the life of his machine gunner and other Marines in his company.Lance Cpl. James H. Stogner was a young 18-year-old Marine ammo humper serving with a machine gun team in Vietnam.
Marines on patrol in Vietnam in March, 1967. James Stogner, the fourth Marine Marine in the patrol, was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism during the Vietnam War. (Courtesy photo)
On the evening of April 5, 1967, as the sun set, Stogner and machine gunner Cpl. Eli Fobbs along with other Marines assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines were tasked to push across a tree line and hedgerow towards a village suspected of hiding North Vietnamese Army, or NVA, troops.
But on this mission, NVA troops were lying in wait to ambush the Marines.
Stogner continued to crawl and moved undetected towards Fobbs’ screams, where he found four NVA soldiers kicking and abusing his comrade.
Stogner killed one of the NVA troops quietly with his Ka-Bar as the enemy soldier moved towards vegetation Stogner was hiding in, and a second NVA soldier was killed in similar fashion.
With two NVA soldiers remaining, Stogner stormed the position armed with his knife, thrusting it into one of the men’s chests as hand to hand combat ensued.
All four NVA troops were killed as Stogner slung Fobbs over his shoulder and grabbed his M60 machine gun, carrying him to friendly lines through a hail of gunfire and grenade explosions.
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