Jim "Doc" McCloughan
Overcoming potentially insurmountable odds and providing inspiration to others, former wrestler, wrestling coach and wrestling official Jim “Doc” McCloughan is recognized with the 2019 Medal of Courage from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. On July 31, 2017, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration for his acts of bravery and valor on the battlefield while serving in the U.S. Army.
In 1969 at the battle of Nui Yon Hill in Vietnam, combat medic McCloughan risked his life repeatedly to save 10 fellow American soldiers. With his company engaged in battle, he ran 100 meters through an open field to rescue an injured soldier, carrying him back to the company and saving him from being captured or killed. McCloughan then ran to aid two additional soldiers. While checking them for wounds, he was peppered with shrapnel from an exploding rocket-propelled grenade. Bleeding extensively, he returned to the kill zone four more times to find more wounded soldiers.
The next day, another platoon was ambushed and its medic killed, leaving McCloughan as the only medic in the company. He was wounded a second time by small arms fire and shrapnel while providing aid to two soldiers in an open rice paddy. He then volunteered to hold a blinking light in an open area as a marker for a nighttime supply drop, holding his prone position as bullets and RPGs flew over and around him. The next morning, he destroyed the RPG position with a grenade, while continuing to fight and care for wounded Americans. He finally collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration.
McCloughan was a four-sport athlete at Bangor High School in Bangor, Michigan, and he wrestled and played football and baseball at Olivet College. He taught sociology and psychology at South Haven High School for 40 years, and also coached wrestling, football and baseball. He was also a wrestling official for the Michigan High School Athletic Association for 25 years. McCloughan is a member of the Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame, Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Medal of Courage