This Day in History: 1966-04-21
United States Army soldier Milton Lee Olive III is posthumously awarded America’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — for his actions in the Vietnam War. Olive joined the Army from his birth city of Chicago, Illinois in 1964, and by 1965 was serving as a Private First Class in Company B of the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. On October 22, 1965, while moving through the jungle with four fellow soldiers in Phu Cuong, Olive sacrificed his life by smothering an enemy-thrown grenade with his body. For his actions on that day, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was the first African-American recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Vietnam War. Learn more.