Bellavia, David G.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia distinguished himself by acts of
gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on
November 10, 2004, while serving as squad leader in support of
Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq.
While clearing a
house, a squad from Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s platoon became trapped
within a room by intense enemy fire coming from a fortified position
under the stairs leading to the second floor. Recognizing the
immediate severity of the situation, and with disregard for his own
safety, Staff Sergeant Bellavia retrieved an automatic weapon and
entered the doorway of the house to engage the insurgents.
With enemy rounds impacting around him, Staff Sergeant Bellavia
fired at the enemy position at a cyclic rate, providing covering
fire that allowed the squad to break contact and exit the house.
A Bradley Fighting Vehicle was brought forward to suppress the
enemy; however, due to high walls surrounding the house, it could
not fire directly at the enemy position. Staff Sergeant Bellavia
then re-entered the house and again came under intense enemy fire.
He observed an enemy insurgent preparing to launch a
rocket-propelled grenade at his platoon. Recognizing the grave
danger the grenade posed to his fellow soldiers, Staff Sergeant
Bellavia assaulted the enemy position, killing one insurgent and
wounding another who ran to a different part of the house.
Staff Sergeant Bellavia, realizing he had an un-cleared, darkened
room to his back, moved to clear it. As he entered, an insurgent
came down the stairs firing at him. Simultaneously, the previously
wounded insurgent reemerged and engaged Staff Sergeant Bellavia.
Staff Sergeant Bellavia, entering further into the darkened room,
returned fire and eliminated both insurgents. Staff Sergeant
Bellavia then received enemy fire from another insurgent emerging
from a closet in the darkened room.
Exchanging gunfire, Staff
Sergeant Bellavia pursued the enemy up the stairs and eliminated
him. Now on the second floor, Staff Sergeant Bellavia moved to a
door that opened onto the roof. At this point, a fifth insurgent
leapt from the third floor roof onto the second floor roof. Staff
Sergeant Bellavia engaged the insurgent through a window, wounding
him in the back and legs, and caused him to fall off the roof.
Acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an
imminent threat, Staff Sergeant Bellavia ultimately cleared an
entire enemy-filled house, destroyed four insurgents, and badly
wounded a fifth. Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s bravery, complete
disregard for his own safety, and unselfish and courageous actions
are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and
reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
Staff Sergeant David Bellavia's
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor Recipients |