Levitow, John Lee, Sgt

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
60750A-Aircraft Loadmaster
Last AFSC Group
Air Operations
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 1A2X1, 3rd Special Operations Squadron
Service Years
1966 - 1970
Enlisted Collar Insignia
Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Connecticut
Connecticut
Year of Birth
1945
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SMSgt James E. Franklin to remember Levitow, John Lee, Sgt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Hartford
Last Address
Hartford

Date of Passing
Nov 08, 2000
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Medal of Honor Recipients
  2016, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Name: John Lee Levitow
Service Info.: SGT US AIR FORCE VIETNAM
Birth Date: 1 Nov 1945
Death Date: 8 Nov 2000
Service Start Date: 4 Jun 1966
Interment Date: 17 Nov 2000
Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: C/O Director Arlington, VA 22211
Buried At: Section 66 Site 7107
   
Other Comments:
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

LEVITOW, JOHN L.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 3d Special Operations Squadron. Place and date: Long Binh Army post, Republic of Vietnam, 24 February 1969. New Haven, Conn. Born: 1 November 1945, Hartford, Conn.
Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Levitow (then A1c.), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army post. Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole 2 feet in diameter through the wing and fragments made over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were wounded and helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crewmember who had been launching flares to provide illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over 40 fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the opened cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. The aircraft was partially out of control and the flare was rolling wildly from side to side. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood from his many wounds and the partial loss of feeling in his right leg. Unable to grasp the rolling flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly device to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by his selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

   
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Vietnam War
From Month/Year
January / 1960
To Month/Year
August / 1973

Description
Overview of the Vietnam War


Vietnam was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the 20th century. It resulted in nearly 60,000 American deaths and in an estimated 2 million Vietnamese deaths. Even today, many Americans still ask whether the American effort in Vietnam was a sin, a blunder, a necessary war, or whether it was a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Vietnamese from totalitarian government.

Summary:

Between 1945 and 1954, the Vietnamese waged an anti-colonial war against France, which received $2.6 billion in financial support from the United States. The French defeat at the Dien Bien Phu was followed by a peace conference in Geneva. As a result of the conference, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam received their independence, and Vietnam was temporarily divided between an anti-Communist South and a Communist North. In 1956, South Vietnam, with American backing, refused to hold unification elections. By 1958, Communist-led guerrillas, known as the Viet Cong, had begun to battle the South Vietnamese government.

To support the South's government, the United States sent in 2,000 military advisors--a number that grew to 16,300 in 1963. The military condition deteriorated, and by 1963, South Vietnam had lost the fertile Mekong Delta to the Viet Cong. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson escalated the war, commencing air strikes on North Vietnam and committing ground forces--which numbered 536,000 in 1968. The 1968 Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese turned many Americans against the war.

The next president, Richard Nixon, advocated Vietnamization, withdrawing American troops and giving South Vietnam greater responsibility for fighting the war. In 1970, Nixon attempted to slow the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam by sending American forces to destroy Communist supply bases in Cambodia. This act violated Cambodian neutrality and provoked antiwar protests on the nation's college campuses.

From 1968 to 1973, efforts were made to end the conflict through diplomacy. In January 1973, an agreement was reached; U.S. forces were withdrawn from Vietnam, and U.S. prisoners of war were released. In April 1975, South Vietnam surrendered to the North, and Vietnam was reunited.

Consequences

1. The Vietnam War cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties. It also resulted in between one and two million Vietnamese deaths.

2. Congress enacted the War Powers Act in 1973, requiring the president to receive explicit Congressional approval before committing American forces overseas.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
January / 1961
To Month/Year
August / 1973
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  3623 Also There at This Battle:
  • Aaron, Dan, MSgt, (1963-1989)
  • Abel, David, MSgt, (1972-1992)
  • Abel, James, SSgt, (1968-1972)
  • Abel, John, A1C, (1957-1963)
  • Abernathy, Paul, MSgt, (1965-1989)
  • Abram, Richard, SSgt, (1963-1967)
  • Abramo, Michael, MSgt, (1966-1990)
  • Acosta, Ralph, SSgt, (1968-1972)
  • Acri, Joseph, Sgt, (1967-1970)
  • Acton, Thomas, MSgt, (1964-1984)
  • Adams, Dave, Capt, (1966-1972)
  • Adams, Harold (Jim), TSgt, (1951-1971)
  • Adams, James, MSgt, (1966-1987)
  • Adams, Jerry L., TSgt, (1967-1989)
  • Adams, John, MSgt, (1956-1976)
  • Adams, Julian, Sgt, (1963-1967)
  • Adams, Michael Thomas, Capt, (1961-1969)
  • Adams, Stanley, Sgt, (1968-1972)
  • Adams, Thomas Larry, Maj, (1965-1987)
  • Adkins, Ben, Maj, (1955-1979)
  • Adkins, Ronald, CMSgt, (1967-1994)
  • Adolf, Frederick, Maj, (1954-1974)
  • Adolf, Gerald (Jerry), SMSgt, (1953-1980)
  • Agbayani, James, MSgt, (1965-1988)
  • Aggers, Dan, SSgt, (1967-1973)
  • Aglieri, Gary, MSgt, (1967-1988)
  • Aguinaga, John, Sgt, (1970-1974)
  • Aguirre, Frank, CMSgt, (1962-1992)
  • Ahearn, Joseph August, Maj Gen, (1958-1992)
  • Ahern, Pete, A2C, (1963-1967)
  • Ahl, Gib, Col, (1959-1987)
  • Aiken, David W, Maj, (1964-1988)
  • Albarado, Evaristo, A1C, (1964-1968)
  • Albee, Raymond, TSgt, (1958-1982)
  • Alexander, Anthony, MSgt, (1968-1988)
  • Alexander, Fernando, Lt Col, (1952-1979)
  • Alexander, Ronald, SSgt, (1968-1972)
  • Alison, Stephen, A3C , (1962-1965)
  • Allen, Richard, CMSgt, (1958-1978)
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