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Charles Ernest Hosking, Jr.
Army Medal of Honor
Born (1924-05-12)May 12, 1924
Died March 21, 1967(1967-03-21) (aged 42)
Place of birth Ramsey, New Jersey
Place of death Đôn Luân district, Phuoc Long Province, South Vietnam
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1944 - 1967
Rank Master Sergeant (posthumous)
Unit 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor

Charles Ernest Hosking, Jr. (May 12, 1924 – March 21, 1967) was a United States Army Special Forces soldier who received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War. He was awarded the medal posthumously for holding a Viet Cong prisoner with a live grenade, taking the brunt of the blast rather than allowing the prisoner to reach several of his commanders.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born on May 12, 1924, in Ramsey, New Jersey, Hosking joined the Army from Fort Dix in 1944.[1] He served in Vietnam as a sergeant first class in Company A of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces Regiment. On March 21, 1967, he was working as an advisor to a Civilian Irregular Defense Group battalion in Đôn Luân district, Phuoc Long Province, when a Viet Cong sniper was captured. As Hosking prepared to transport the prisoner to base camp, the man grabbed a hand grenade from Hosking's belt, armed it, and ran towards the 4-man company command group. Hosking tackled the prisoner and held him to the ground, using the prisoner's body and his own to shield others from the grenade blast. Both he and the Viet Cong prisoner were killed in the ensuing explosion. Hosking was posthumously promoted to master sergeant and awarded the Medal of Honor for this action.[2]

Hosking was buried at Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood, New Jersey.[3] Hosking Way, a road off of Darlington Avenue in Ramsey, is named in his honor.

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Hosking's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Master Sergeant Hosking (then Sergeant First Class), Detachment A-302, Company A, greatly distinguished himself while serving as company advisor in the III Corps Civilian Irregular Defense Group Reaction Battalion during combat operations in Don Luan District. A Viet Cong suspect was apprehended and subsequently identified as a Viet Cong sniper. While MSG Hosking was preparing the enemy for movement back to the base camp, the prisoner suddenly grabbed a hand grenade from MSG Hosking's belt, armed the grenade, and started running towards the company command group which consisted of 2 Americans and 2 Vietnamese who were standing a few feet away. Instantly realizing that the enemy intended to kill the other men, MSG Hosking immediately leaped upon the Viet Cong's back. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he grasped the Viet Cong in a "Bear Hug" forcing the grenade against the enemy soldier's chest. He then wrestled the Viet Cong to the ground and covered the enemy's body with his body until the grenade detonated. The blast instantly killed both MSG Hosking and the Viet Cong. By absorbing the full force of the exploding grenade with his body and that of the enemy, he saved the other members of his command group from death or serious injury. MSG Hosking's risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.[2]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Medal of Honor Recipients - Vietnam (A–L)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. December 3, 2010. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/vietnam-a-l.html. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  3. Bertocci, Laura (May 29, 2011). "Memorial Day Preview: A Day of Remembrance". Ridgewood, New Jersey. Archived from the original on May 29, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5z3BTCEXD. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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