M. Smith | Baxter Springs
The Baxter Springs American Legion Post 206 dedicated the monument in front of the building. The monument is dedicated to SP5 Edgar L. McWethy Jr..
SP5 McWethy, served in B Company, 1-5th Cavalry. He was awarded the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) for his gallant action on June 21, 1967 in Vietnam.
McWethy’s Citation (from the U.S. Army Medical Department): For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Serving as a Medical Aidman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, in Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 21 June 1967, Specialist McWethy accompanied his platoon to the site of a downed helicopter. Shortly after the platoon established a defensive perimeter around the aircraft, a large enemy force attacked the position from three sides with a heavy volume of automatic- weapons fire and grenades. The platoon leader and his radio operator were wounded almost immediately, and Specialist McWethy rushed across the fire-swept area to their assistance. Although he could not help the mortally wounded radio operator, Specialist McWethy’s timely first aid enabled the platoon leader to retain command during this critical period. Hearing a call for aid, Specialist McWethy started across the open toward the injured men, but was wounded in the head and knocked to the ground. He regained his feet and continued on but was hit again, this time in the leg. Struggling onward despite his wounds, he gained the side of his comrades and treated their injuries.
Observing another fallen rifleman lying in an exposed position raked by enemy fire, Specialist McWethy moved toward him without hesitation. Although the enemy fire wounded him a third time, Specialist McWethy reached his fallen companion. Though weakened and in extreme pain, Specialist McWethy gave the wounded man artificial respiration, but suffered a fourth and fatal wound. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and demonstrated concern for his fellow soldiers, Specialist McWethy inspired the members of his platoon and contributed in great measure to their successful defense of the position and the ultimate rout of the enemy force. Specialist McWethy’s profound sense of duty, bravery, and his willingness to accept extraordinary risks in order to help the men of his unit are characteristic of the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.