On Aug. 12, at a small ceremony of current and former paratroopers, All American paratrooper for life James T. Greene was awarded the Bronze Star medal with a "V" device during the 82nd Airborne Association Convention in Orlando, Florida, for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War.
Greene was presented with this award for his valorous actions on Jan. 18, 1969. While a sergeant assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, Greene, a forward observer, along with other members from Company B, took heavy mortar fire while on a patrol. Six of Greene’s fellow paratroopers were injured approximately 60 miles north of Saigon.
After two MEDEVAC helicopters failed to retrieve the injured due to heavy fire, a third was attempted but the landing zone was unmarked and the crew could not identify the wounded. Rushing into the middle of the landing zone with a smoke grenade, Greene risked his life to help save his fellow paratroopers. With small arms and automatic weapons firing from enemy positions all around him, Greene activated the smoke grenade and exposed himself in the middle of battle, swinging his arms to signal the position of the wounded.
After the bird was able to land, Greene immediately began loading the wounded and all were safely evacuated.
Greene was originally recommended for the Bronze Star with “V” device — his third of the Vietnam War — in 1969, however, the original paperwork was lost. His All American Leaders continued to monitor the issue and, more than 45 years later, ensured he would receive the award he deserved.