HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Vietnam veteran Cleveland King Jr. and five other veterans were inducted into the Madison County Military Heritage Commission Hall of Heroes Tuesday.
King, a Marine radio operator, was awarded a Silver Star Medal for actions in Vietnam on March 1, 1969. King’s company was heavily engaged with an enemy force larger than theirs. His platoon commander and platoon sergeant were both wounded. King assumed command of the platoon and directed the men to their objective – an urgently needed landing zone.
King repeatedly exposed himself to gunfire as he moved and motivated the men. King rushed out into the open area of the landing zone to mark it with a smoke grenade. When he did this, he was hit by an enemy mortar round, knocking him to the ground and wounding him. Instead of being immediately flown out, King waited until other soldiers were evacuated before taking a helicopter to safety.