29th Field Artillery - Vietnam   -   Presidential Unit Citation   -   DA General Orders 69

(Transcribed from a 5 page copy of the original orders)

Washington D.C., 7 November 1969

PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION - Award ----------------------------------------------------------------------------    I
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION - Award ----------------( not applicable )------------------------------------------   II
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION - Award ----------------( not applicable )------------------------------------------  III

I___THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (ARMY). Award of the Presidential Unit Citation (Army) by the President of the United States of America to the following units of the Armed Forces of the United States is confirmed in accordance with paragraph 194, AR 672-5-1. The text of the citation, signed by President Richard Nixon, 3 October 1969, reads as follows:

    By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I have today awarded:






Assigned Units:
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

Attached Units:
1st Battalion, 8th Infantry
3d Battalion, 8th Infantry
3d Battalion, 12th Infantry

Supporting Units:
6th Battalion, 29th Artillery
Company A, 4th Engineer Battalion
1st Platoon, 4th Military Police Company
Forward Area Signal Center Platoon, Company B, 124th Signal Battalion
50th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
1st Brigade Military Intelligence Detachment, 4th Military Intelligence Detachment
2d Platoon, Battery D, 4th Battalion, 60th Artillery
1st Platoon, Battery B (SLT), 29th Artillery
Supply Section, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Supply and Transport Battalion
Contact Team, Company D, 704th Maintenance Battalion
Battery A, 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery
Battery B, 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery
5th Battalion, 16th Artillery
1st Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor


       The 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and its assigned, attached and supporting units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations along the Cambodian border west of Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam, during the period 18 to 26 May 1967. In May 1967, the 1st Brigade launched an intensive spoiling operation designed to engage and contain a large North Vietnamese force massing in rugged, sparsely inhabited jungle terrain east of the Cambodian border northwest of Duc Co. Nine days of heavy fighting began on 18 May when Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry came under ground attack by a battalion-size enemy force. As the intensity of the fighting increased, the 4th Platoon was separated from its company and came under attack by withering rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire. The company's concerted and gallant efforts to break through to the separated platoon were blocked as the superior enemy force made repeated attempts to overrun the platoon position. Fighting savagely for existence and demonstrating indomitable courage, the platoon called artillery fire on its own position as the enemy broke through and overran the perimeter. The coordinated employment of artillery, air and gunships, as well as the devastating fire from the men of Company B forced the enemy to withdraw, sustaining heavy casualties. The 1st Brigade pursued the delaying North Vietnamese while they attempted to withdraw from envelopment. On the evening of 20 May 1967, the defensive perimeter of Companies A, B, and C, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry came under heavy mortar attack followed by a coordinated ground attack. The besieged companies met the challenge and, supported with massive artillery fire, repelled the enemy onslaught that had come within a few meters of the perimeter after two hours of fierce fighting. The 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry quickly maneuvered over ragged, jungle-matted mountains to block the North Vietnamese force from withdrawing west to its Cambodian sanctuary. When the enemy attacked Companies A and B on the morning of 22 May, they surged forward in waves to overrun the friendly position. Heavy close in fighting raged for 4 hours until the enemy force finally broke contact and exfiltrated from the battlefield. Two more significant battles occurred on 24 and 26 May, with elements of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, and the 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry. In both battles, the forces of the 1st Brigade, supported by massive artillery and tactical air support, fought with such ferocity that the North Vietnamese attacks were beaten back. The main enemy force was fragmented and subsequently withdrew. The combined fortitude, determination and unwavering courage of the 1st Brigade's personnel rendered two North Vietnamese Army regiments ineffective and totally disrupted the 1967 summer monsoon offensive in the central highlands. The devotion to duty and extraordinary heroism of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and its assigned, attached and supporting units, reflects distinct credit on themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States.

By Order of the Secretary of the Army:

General, United States Army
Chief of Staff.                        

      Major General, United States Army,
      The Adjutant General

      To be distributed in accordance with DA Form 12-4 requirements.



Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
18 MAY 1967



CITATION READS: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. P/SGT. Grandstaff distinguished himself while leading the Weapons Platoon, Company B, on a reconnaissance mission near the Cambodian border. His platoon was advancing through intermittent enemy contact when it was struck by heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from 3 sides. As he established a defensive perimeter, P/SGT. Grandstaff noted that several of his men had been struck down. He raced 30 meters through the intense fire to aid them but could only save 1. Denied freedom to maneuver his unit by the intensity of the enemy onslaught, he adjusted artillery to within 45 meters of his position. When helicopter gunships arrived, he crawled outside the defensive position to mark the location with smoke grenades. Realizing his first marker was probably ineffective, he crawled to another location and threw his last smoke grenade but the smoke did not penetrate the jungle foliage. Seriously wounded in the leg during this effort he returned to his radio and, refusing medical aid, adjusted the artillery even closer as the enemy advanced on his position. Recognizing the need for additional firepower, he again braved the enemy fusillade, crawled to the edge of his position and fired several magazines of tracer ammunition through the jungle canopy. He succeeded in designating the location to the gunships but this action again drew the enemy fire and he was wounded in the other leg. Now enduring intense pain and bleeding profusely, he crawled to within 10 meters of an enemy machine gun which had caused many casualties among his men. He destroyed the position with hand grenades but received additional wounds. Rallying his remaining men to withstand the enemy assaults, he realized his position was being overrun and asked for artillery directly on his location. He fought until mortally wounded by an enemy rocket. Although every man in the platoon was a casualty, survivors attest to the indomitable spirit and exceptional courage of this outstanding combat leader who inspired his men to fight courageously against overwhelming odds and cost the enemy heavy casualties. P/SGT. Grandstaff's selfless gallantry, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.


Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
20 MAY 1967



CITATION READS: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Acting as a fire team leader with Company C, during combat operations PFC Bellrichard was with 4 fellow soldiers in a foxhole on their unit's perimeter when the position came under a massive enemy attack. Following a 30 minute mortar barrage, the enemy launched a strong ground assault. PFC Bellrichard rose in the face of a group of charging enemy soldiers and threw hand grenades into their midst, eliminating several of the foe and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Failing in their initial attack, the enemy repeated the mortar and rocket bombardment of the friendly perimeter, then once again charged against the defenders in a concerted effort to overrun the position. PFC Bellrichard resumed throwing hand grenades at the onrushing attackers. As he was about to hurl a grenade, a mortar round exploded just in front of his position, knocking him into the foxhole and causing him to lose his grip on the already armed grenade. Recovering instantly, PFC Bellrichard recognized the threat to the lives of his 4 comrades and threw himself upon the grenade, shielding his companions from the blast that followed. Although severely wounded, PFC Bellrichard struggled into an upright position in the foxhole and fired his rifle at the enemy until he succumbed to his wounds. His selfless heroism contributed greatly to the successful defense of the position, and he was directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.


Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
20 MAY 1967



CITATION READS: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Molnar distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B, during combat operations. Shortly after the battalion's defensive perimeter was established, it was hit by intense mortar fire as the prelude to a massive enemy night attack. S/Sgt. Molnar immediately left his sheltered location to insure the readiness of his squad to meet the attack. As he crawled through the position, he discovered a group of enemy soldiers closing in on his squad area. His accurate rifle fire killed 5 of the enemy. and forced the remainder to flee. When the mortar fire stopped, the enemy attacked in a human wave supported by grenades, rockets, automatic weapons, and small-arms fire. After assisting to repel the first enemy assault, S/Sgt. Molnar found that his squad's ammunition and grenade supply was nearly expended. Again leaving the relative safety of his position, he crawled through intense enemy fire to secure additional ammunition and distribute it to his squad. He rejoined his men to beat back the renewed enemy onslaught, and he moved about his area providing medical aid and assisting in the evacuation of the wounded. With the help of several men, he was preparing to move a severely wounded soldier when an enemy hand grenade was thrown into the group. The first to see the grenade, S/Sgt. Molnar threw himself on it and absorbed the deadly blast to save his comrades. His demonstrated selflessness and inspirational leadership on the battlefield were a major factor in the successful defense of the American position and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army. S/Sgt. Molnar's actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

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