Photograph of Staff Sergeant Paul R. Lambers, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict.
Paul Lambers fought in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Medal of Honor. “Vietnam War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. A native of Holland, Michigan, he attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids and the University of Michigan before entering the US Army in 1967. The following year he was serving in Vietnam as a Sergeant in Company A, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Lambers was promoted to Staff Sergeant and awarded the CMOH for actions at Tay Ninh Province on August 20, 1968. His citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. (then Sgt.) Lambers distinguished himself in action while serving with the 3d platoon, Company A. The unit had established a night defensive position astride a suspected enemy infiltration route, when it was attacked by an estimated Viet Cong battalion. During the initial enemy onslaught, the platoon leader fell seriously wounded and S/Sgt. Lambers assumed command of the platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy fire, S/Sgt. Lambers left his covered position, secured the platoon radio and moved to the command post to direct the defense. When his radio became inoperative due to enemy action, S/Sgt. Lambers crossed the fire swept position to secure the 90mm recoilless rifle crew's radio in order to re-establish communications. Upon discovering that the 90mm recoilless rifle was not functioning, S/Sgt. Lambers assisted in the repair of the weapon and directed canister fire at point-blank range against the attacking enemy who had breached the defensive wire of the position. When the weapon was knocked out by enemy fire, he single-handedly repulsed a penetration of the position by detonating claymore mines and throwing grenades into the midst of the attackers, killing 4 more of the Viet Cong with well aimed hand grenades. S/Sgt. Lambers maintained command of the platoon elements by moving from position to position under the hail of enemy fire, providing assistance where the assault was the heaviest and by his outstanding example inspiring his men to the utmost efforts of courage. He displayed great skill and valor throughout the 5-hour battle by personally directing artillery and helicopter fire, placing them at times within 5 meters of the defensive position. He repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire at great risk to his own life in order to redistribute ammunition and to care for seriously wounded comrades and to move them to sheltered positions. S/Sgt. Lambers' superb leadership, professional skill and magnificent courage saved the lives of his comrades, resulted in the virtual annihilation of a vastly superior enemy force and were largely instrumental in thwarting an enemy offensive against Tay Ninh City. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the US Army". Lambers was presented with the CMOH by President Richard Nixon at a White House ceremony on November 24, 1969. He died in a tragic accident during a visit to his hometown of Holland. Walking along Lake Michigan in inclement weather, he was swept off a breakwater and drowned. His body was never recovered.”