This is a discussion on Military Heroes within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Roy Benavidez, from South Texas. Now rests at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant. Detachment B-56, 5th ...
August 2nd, 2007 02:28 PM
Roy Benavidez, from South Texas. Now rests at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant. Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam
Place and Date: West of Loc Ninh on 2 May 1968
Entered Service at: Houston, Texas June 1955
Date and Place of Birth: 5 August 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas
Master Sergeant, then Staff Sergeant, United States Army. Who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely glorious actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.
On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army.
After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance and requested emergency extraction. 3 helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire.
Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crew members and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt.
Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face and head.
Despite these painful injuries he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members.
As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter.
Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gun ships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land.
His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed with additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter.
Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed 2 enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft.
Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to voluntarily join his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least 8 men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
August 2nd, 2007 03:08 PM
That is an inspiring read.
“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”
― Robert A. Heinlein,
August 2nd, 2007 06:02 PM
This story isn't mine, but it's a great true story...it's from a group of people that I affiliate with. This story and those stories you tell just serve to remind me that there are some great young people out there who serve with pride, with duty and honor, and that we can continue to live in a great Country with people like this who are willing to put it all on the line...I thank God for them! As a veteran myself, I take great pride in all veterans, and in those who support them in many ways! If you've seen this, I apologize, but this is my kind of guy, faced with death he reacted with extreme courage...
A Story of Combat from Iraq ...
"Let me share a story with you from one of our (soon to be) famous patients. I thought of it while reading the story about the firearms controversy.
We have a SEAL in the system who was wounded in OIF. But that's not the whole story...
He and his partner were a 2 man team clearing a house in Iraq. Being SEALs, these guys were on their own and the rest of their platoon was around the courtyard and in other areas of the house. They kicked the door, rushed in to meet four bad guys with AK-47's. The partner was killed in the initial burst of gunfire and Doug (the surviving SEAL) had his M4 shot out of his hands before he got off a round. He was also struck by 17 (yes seventeen) rounds of AK fire during the course of the next few minutes. 3 hit his SAPE plate in the chest area and were deflected, 12 rounds entered and exited what the doctors described as "soft tissue" areas, one hit him in the scrotal sack passing between his testicles and giving him an unexpected (but as he and his wife quickly point out, not unnecessary) vasectomy. The last round skipped on the bottom part of his plate and entered his lower right abdomen (he now has a bag for the next couple of months - sound familiar?). Despite this, Doug drew his handgun (9mm Beretta) and killed all the bad guys - taking time for one magazine change during the fight. I asked him if he was under cover during the time and he told me he was standing in the doorway of the room during the whole fight, that it happened too quickly to do anything except stand there, get hit, and return fire.
Editorial comment: DAMN.
He stayed at WRAMC for only 2 days before they discharged him for Con Leave, and he only stayed that long because Admiral Olsen (the SEAL chief) wanted to pin his awards and have a little "chat." The story continues this way...
The Admiral walks in with his Senior CPO and they do the usual chit chat and banter. At some point Doug tells the admiral he wants to go back to the Team as soon as possible (after his take down surgery) or do something at little creek as an instructor or something. Apparently the Admiral got a thoughtful look on his face and turned to his SCPO and told him to schedule Doug as soon as possible to attend firearms training. Doug quickly pointed out that not only had he attended all the basic and advanced firearms training, he had actually been an instructor at little creek for advanced handgun training; whereas the admiral looked at him and stated "well young man, I guess you're gonna have to go back as a student because I understand you killed 4 bad guys during the fire but you had to do a magazine exchange...aren't there 14 rounds in a Beretta and why if you had so many rounds in the weapon did it take you that many rounds to put down the bad guys?" Obviously, you need to go back for some refresher training." According to my source (and I talked to Doug about this as well) he was stunned and it took everyone in the room a few minutes before they understood the Admiral was just pulling his leg! Who knew SEAL officers had a sense of humor?
I love that story.
Couple of notes of interest relating to the handgun thing. Doug told me he's convinced if he had a heavier handgun, .40 or .45 caliber, the bad guys would have gone down and stayed down. He claimed that he hit each one several times with his 9mm before they actually went down. In one case it took a head shot to take the guy out. I believe it. The INS went to the .40 caliber several years ago and internally, talking to a couple of my friends who have been in gun fights, when they hit someone they usually went down with the 1st round.
Just thought I would share that story...and oh yeah, he's been nominated for the Navy Cross...he's recovering and expects to return to limited duty during June.
Damn SEALS just don't know when to quit and I for one am glad for that. Dan" (Thank You very much to Ken G. for sharing this personal communication with us. editor)
...and that's the rest of the story, guys and gals...
Semper Vigilantia - Semper Paratus
NRA Life Member
August 2nd, 2007 06:06 PM
One of the highest decorated military men of all time is Navy Commander Samuel D. Dealey. At the time his submarine was sunk in 1944, Dealey had been awarded the Army DSC and three Navy Crosses and had been recommended for the MOH. After his sub was sunk, Dealey was awarded another Navy cross for his last patrol and was also posthumously awarded the MOH. 1 DSC, 4 Navy Crosses and the MOH.
August 2nd, 2007 07:17 PM
Sgt Major "Iron" Mike D. Mervosh.
Sgt. Maj. Mervosh participated in many of the battles of WWII such as, Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. He received two Purple Hearts and the Navy Commendation Medal for his heroic actions in the battle at Iwo Jima. While in Korea with the 1st Marine Division, he was awarded the Bronze Star and a second Navy Commendation Medal while serving with "G" Co., 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. He served two tours in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division and was awarded his third Navy Commendation Medal and a third Purple Heart. His date of rank of February 14, 1958 as a Sergeant Major made him the most senior enlisted man of all the Armed Services.
19years as a Sgt Maj makes anyone a hero in my book
To those that paid for my freedom,
I WILL NEVER FORGET.
As with all statements I've made and All that I will make, please check your local laws to verify accuracy. (and if i'm wrong let me know as I like to be right in the future) After all I'm just some goofball posting on an internet forum.
August 2nd, 2007 11:09 PM
Randall Shughart and Gary Gordon from Blackhawk Down in Somalia
Jason Dunham and Pual Smith in Iraq. Paul Smith did an amazing job protecting his men so they could get out of the line of fire.
Also Cpl. Jason Dunham:
President Bush announced on Friday that the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration, will be awarded posthumously to Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham.
In April 2004, Dunham was leading a patrol in an Iraqi town near the Syrian border when the patrol stopped a convoy of cars leaving the scene of an attack on a Marine convoy, according to military and media accounts of the action.
An occupant of one of the cars attacked Dunham and the two fought hand to hand. As they fought, Dunham yelled to fellow Marines, "No, no watch his hand." The attacker then dropped a grenade and Dunham hurled himself on top of it, using his helmet to try to blunt the force of the blast.
Still, Dunham was critically wounded in the explosion and died eight days later at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
"As long as we have Marines like Corporal Dunham, America will never fear for her liberty," Bush said Friday as he announced that Dunham would receive the award. Bush spoke at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia. (Watch announcement of award at museum -- 1:27)
"His was a selfless act of courage to save his fellow Marines," Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Huff of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, was quoted as saying in Marine Corps News that April.
"He knew what he was doing," Lance Cpl. Jason A. Sanders, 21, of McAllester, Oklahoma, who was in Dunham's company, was quoted as saying by Marine Corps News. "He wanted to save Marines' lives from that grenade."
In various media accounts, fellow Marines told how Dunham had extended his enlistment shortly before he died so he could help his comrades.
"We told him he was crazy for coming out here," Lance Cpl. Mark E. Dean, 22, from Owasso, Oklahoma, said in Marine Corps News. "He decided to come out here and fight with us. All he wanted was to make sure his boys made it back home."
"He loved his country, believed in his mission, and wanted to stay with his fellow Marines and see the job through," Vice President Dick Cheney said when speaking of Dunham's heroism at a Disabled American Veterans conference in July 2004.
The Scio, New York, native would have been 25 years old on Friday.
In a letter urging Bush to honor Dunham with the Medal of Honor, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, called the Marine's actions "an act of unbelievable bravery and selflessness."
Dunham's story was told in the book "The Gift of Valor," written by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Phillips.
Dunham will be the second American to receive the Medal of Honor from service in Iraq.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith was the other, honored for action near Baghdad International Airport in April 2003, in which he killed as many as 50 enemy combatants while helping wounded comrades to safety. Smith was the only U.S. soldier killed in the battle.
There are so many more. Too many to list. Every service that has given their life for this great country is a hero of the highest magnitude in my opinion.
For more heroes, look here:
August 2nd, 2007 11:18 PM
In my mind, any person who put on a uniform, went into a combat zone, and did not return, is a military hero. Remember the last sentence in the last episode of Band of Brothers when Maj. Dick Winters said:
When asked by my grandson, "Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?" Grandpa replied, "No, but I served in a company of them".
A person is justified in the use of deadly force, if such person reasonably believes deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to such person or a third person.
August 3rd, 2007 11:27 AM
Two Air Force Enlisted Heros
A1C Bill Pitsenbarger ("Pits" as he was known to his unit) was a 21-year old Pararescueman when he arrived in Vietnam in 1965. On 11 April 1966 he left his helicopter, riding a hoist cable down into a ongoing battle between Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Division and a battalion of about 400 Viet Cong. His full story is better told by his fellow Pararescueman at
Originally Posted by paramedic70002
A1C Pitsenbarger assisted the wounded, returned fire, collected and distributed ammunition, and loaded wounded for evacuation as the helicopters came and went.
He was fatally wounded during the battle that night. Initially recommended for the Medal of Honor, the award was downgraded to the Air Force Cross. More than 33 years later the award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor through the efforts of witnesses on the scene, fellow pararescuemen, and others.
Bill Pitsenbarger was only one of two Air Force enlisted members to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Viet Nam. The other was A1C John Levitow, a Loadmaster on a AC-47 gunship. Ironically, A1C Pitsenbarger's Medal of Honor was presented to his family in December 2000 and A1C Levitow died in November 2000. This New York Times article announcing his death identifies Sgt Levitow as the only Air Force enlisted man to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Following recovery from wounds received during his heroic actions Levitow flew 20 more combat missions! He left the Air Force in 1970 as a Sergeant.
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.
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