JAMES, JR. Rank and organization: Private First Class,
U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Platoon, Company F, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines,
3d Marine Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 28 February
1967. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif. Born: 22 January 1947,
Los Angeles, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Company
F was advancing in dense jungle northwest of Cam Lo in an effort
to extract a heavily besieged reconnaissance patrol. Pfc. Anderson's
platoon was the lead element and had advanced only about 200 meters
when they were brought under extremely intense enemy small-arms
and automatic weapons fire.
The platoon reacted swiftly, getting on line as best they could
in the thick terrain, and began returning fire. Pfc. Anderson found
himself tightly bunched together with the other members of the platoon
only 20 meters from the enemy positions. As the fire fight continued
several of the men were wounded by the deadly enemy assault. Suddenly,
an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the marines and rolled alongside
Pfc. Anderson's head.
Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his personal safety,
he reached out, grasped the grenade, pulled it to his chest and
curled around it as it went off. Although several marines received
shrapnel from the grenade, his body absorbed the major force of
the explosion. In this singularly heroic act, Pfc. Anderson saved
his comrades from serious injury and possible death. His personal
heroism, extraordinary valor, and inspirational supreme self-sacrifice
reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld
the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave
his life for his country.
WEBSTER Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class,
U.S. Army, Battery A, 2d Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 101st
Airborne Infantry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Tam Ky,
Republic of Vietnam, 15 October 1967. Entered service at: Winnsboro,
S.C. Born: 15 July 1933, Winnsboro, S.C. Citation: Sfc. Anderson
(then S/Sgt.), distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action while serving as chief of section in Battery
A, against a hostile force.
During the early morning hours Battery A's defensive position was
attacked by a determined North Vietnamese Army infantry unit supported
by heavy mortar, recoilless rifle, rocket propelled grenade and
automatic weapon fire. The initial enemy onslaught breached the
battery defensive perimeter. Sfc. Anderson, with complete disregard
for his personal safety, mounted the exposed parapet of his howitzer
position and became the mainstay of the defense of the battery position.
Sfc. Anderson directed devastating direct howitzer fire on the assaulting
enemy while providing rifle and grenade defensive fire against enemy
soldiers attempting to overrun his gun section position. While protecting
his crew and directing their fire against the enemy from his exposed
position, 2 enemy grenades exploded at his feet knocking him down
and severely wounding him in the legs.
Despite the excruciating pain and though not able to stand, Sfc.
Anderson valorously propped himself on the parapet and continued
to direct howitzer fire upon the closing enemy and to encourage
his men to fight on. Seeing an enemy grenade land within the gun
pit near a wounded member of his gun crew, Sfc. Anderson heedless
of his own safety, seized the grenade and attempted to throw it
over the parapet to save his men.
As the grenade was thrown from the position it exploded and Sfc.
Anderson was again grievously wounded. Although only partially conscious
and severely wounded, Sfc. Anderson refused medical evacuation and
continued to encourage his men in the defense of the position. Sfc.
Anderson by his inspirational leadership, professionalism, devotion
to duty and complete disregard for his welfare was able to maintain
the defense of his section position and to defeat a determined attack.
Sfc. Anderson's gallantry and extraordinary heroism at the risk
of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon
himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
EUGENE, JR. Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class,
U.S. Army, Company C, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special
Forces. Place and date: Near Lang Vei, Republic of Vietnam, 6th
and 7th February 1968. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born:
12 October 1931, Wilmington, N.C. Citation: Sfc. Ashley, distinguished
himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with
Detachment A-101, Company C. Sfc. Ashley was the senior special
forces Advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission
was to rescue entrapped U.S. special forces advisors at Camp Lang
During the initial attack on the special forces camp by North Vietnamese
army forces, Sfc. Ashley supported the camp with high explosive
and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with
the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing
air strikes and artillery support. Sfc. Ashley organized and equipped
a small assault force composed of local friendly personnel. During
the ensuing battle, Sfc. Ashley led a total of 5 vigorous assaults
against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous
hail of enemy grenades, machinegun and automatic weapons fire.
Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous booby-trapped
satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During
his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top
of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting
in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself
to intense enemy fire, he was seriously wounded by machinegun fire
but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety.
After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from
the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an
enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sfc. Ashley displayed
extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save
the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer. His
total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation
and automatic weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed
to the assault.
The resolute valor with which he led 5 gallant charges placed critical
diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts
carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions
through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped
to freedom. Sfc. Ashley's bravery at the cost of his life was in
the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great
credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.