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BENDORF, David Glen
BENDORF, David Glen. (Livingston, WI, Aug. 20, 1946--Republic of Vietnam, May 20, 1967). Recipient, Navy Cross. On May 20, 1967 Lance Corporal served as a machine gun team leader of the Second Platoon of Company L, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. The company was moving to bring a relief force to an embattled sister company when it engaged a strong blocking force. Lance Corporal Bendorf and his gunner had volunteered to provide point for the platoon. When the enemy opened up in the darkness, he led his gunner to a foremost position and directed accurate fire into the enemy positions to support the assault.
After a vicious exchange of fire and grenades, during which time many Marines were wounded, the platoon was forced to withdraw and regroup. Lance Corporal Bendorf knew that without the firepower of his gun the platoon would be unable to recover the casualties and carry them back to safety. Calmly accepting whatever consequences their bravery might cost, he and his gunner held their position under heavy automatic fire and a barrage of grenades, allowing the others to pull out of the trap. Both men were aware that death was inevitable, and they chose to face the enemy alone.
As a direct result of their heroic sacrifice, a successful assault was launched which relieved the pressure on the other company and saved an untold number of lives, if not the entire unit.
Information provided by Richard G. Bridges.