The President of the United States of America, authorized
by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863 has awarded in the name of
the Congress the Medal of Honor posthumously to:
SERGEANT FIRST CLASS RODNEY J.
UNITED STATES ARMY
for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the
risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in
Republic of Vietnam:
Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army,
Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Place and date: Near Bien Hao, Republic of Vietnam, 1
Entered service at: Honolulu, Hawaii.
Born: 13 December 1943, Kealakekua Kona, Hawaii.
Citation: Sfc. Yano distinguished himself while serving
with the Air Cavalry Troop. Sfc. Yano was performing the
duties of crew chief aboard the troop's command-and-control
helicopter during action against enemy forces entrenched in
dense jungle. From an exposed position in the face of intense
small arms and antiaircraft fire he delivered suppressive
fire upon the enemy forces and marked their positions with
smoke and white phosphorous grenades, thus enabling his troop
commander to direct accurate and effective artillery fire
against the hostile emplacements. A grenade, exploding
prematurely, covered him with burning phosphorous, and left
him severely wounded. Flaming fragments within the helicopter
caused supplies and ammunition to detonate. Dense white smoke
filled the aircraft, obscuring the pilot's vision and causing
him to lose control. Although having the use of only 1 arm
and being partially blinded by the initial explosion, Sfc.
Yano completely disregarded his welfare and began hurling
blazing ammunition from the helicopter. In so doing he
inflicted additional wounds upon himself, yet he persisted
until the danger was past. Sfc. Yano's indomitable courage
and profound concern for his comrades averted loss of life
and additional injury to the rest of the crew. By his
conspicuous gallantry at the cost of his life, in the highest
traditions of the military service, Sfc. Yano has reflected
great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.