Nation: Once & Future Hero

If the reasons for the war do not always seem clear to all Americans, few can fail to be moved by the tales of individual valor and self-sacrifice that the conflict has inspired. One of the most gallant of all was written last week on the rugged Kontum plateau by a man who had first won hero credentials on the football field: Army Captain William Stanley Carpenter Jr., 28, the famed "lonely end" and captain of West Point's 1959 team.

In what was clearly one of the major battles for U.S. forces to date, Bill Carpenter was at the head of a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!