and organization: First
Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th
Near Phu Hoa
Dong, Republic of Vietnam, 26 February 1967.
29 January 1932, Lodi,
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Sgt. Yabes distinguished
himself with Company A, which was providing security for a land
clearing operation. Early in the morning the company suddenly came
under intense automatic weapons and mortar fire followed by a battalion
sized assault from 3 sides. Penetrating the defensive perimeter
the enemy advanced on the company command post bunker. The command
post received increasingly heavy fire and was in danger of being
overwhelmed. When several enemy grenades landed within the command
post, 1st Sgt. Yabes shouted a warning and used his body as a shield
to protect others in the bunker. Although painfully wounded by numerous
grenade fragments, and despite the vicious enemy fire on the bunker,
he remained there to provide covering fire and enable the others
in the command group to relocate. When the command group had reached
a new position, 1st Sgt. Yabes moved through a withering hail of
enemy fire to another bunker 50 meters away. There he secured a
grenade launcher from a fallen comrade and fired point blank into
the attacking Viet Cong stopping further penetration of the perimeter.
Noting 2 wounded men helpless in the fire swept area, he moved them
to a safer position where they could be given medical treatment.
He resumed his accurate and effective fire killing several enemy
soldiers and forcing others to withdraw from the vicinity of the
command post. As the battle continued, he observed an enemy machinegun
within the perimeter which threatened the whole position. On his
own, he dashed across the exposed area, assaulted the machinegun,
killed the crew, destroyed the weapon, and fell mortally wounded.
1st Sgt. Yabes' valiant and selfless actions saved the lives of
many of his fellow soldiers and inspired his comrades to effectively
repel the enemy assault. His indomitable fighting spirit, extraordinary
courage and intrepidity at the cost of his life are in the highest
military traditions and reflect great credit upon himself and the
Armed Forces of his country.