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Presidential Unit Citation Awarded to Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), USA.

October 18, 1968

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





Company A, 1ST Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), distinguished itself by extraordinary heroism in action against a superior heavily armed enemy force in the village of Tan An, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 20 March 1967. Company A was given the mission to air assault into a landing zone in the Soui Ca Valley and then to move north to set up a blocking position. Landing Operations were completed, and the company began moving towards Tan An with the 1st and 2d Platoons leading, the Command Group and Mortar Platoon following, and the 3d Platoon echeloned to the left rear. After moving approximately 400 meters over relatively open, sandy terrain, the entire company came under heavy enemy fire from a well concealed, well positioned force, estimated to be two companies of North Vietnamese. The 1st Platoon was the most heavily engaged element, having entered an open graveyard area only meters from a tree line of palms and the village of Tan An, where the enemy was positioned. Several of the men became wounded early in the fight including the 1st Platoon leader and the platoon sergeant. The weapons squad leader took charge with help from the platoon medic. As the platoon fought to stop a flanking movement by the enemy, the company commander called in supporting artillery fire. Although the Command Post Group was pinned down in the open area, the company commander maintained his position and began maneuvering his platoons. One squad of the 3d Platoon moved to the right flank of the heavily engaged 2d Platoon in order to halt any enemy movements on that flank. The 2d Platoon quickly gained fire superiority and began pivoting into positions on the right. The remainder of the 3d Platoon were positioned forward to reinforce the 1st Platoon. At this time aerial artillery from gunships of the 2d Battalion, 20th Aerial Artillery, became available and was deployed on the enemy positions. The Mortar Platoon was ordered to establish rear security for the unit, and soon after positioning itself. began placing accurate fire from its 81 mm mortar on the enemy. Meanwhile, the enemy force, realizing that reinforcements were moving in, intensified its efforts on the 1st Platoon's left flank in a last ditch effort to encircle the element. Several new men, experiencing their first combat action under fire, displayed courage and valor as they replaced others, who were wounded, and the enemy flanking movement was completely thwarted. The 3d Platoon successfully linked up with the 1st Platoon, and with the added fire support and strength, the 1st Platoon extracted its wounded and shifted its positions to the east to establish a defensive posture with the remainder of the company. Close-in artillery support from Battery C, 1st Battalion, 77th Artillery, aided in the movement and the entire engagement. Although mortared during the night and harassed by sporadic sniper fire, the company did not regain contact and maintained its tight defensive perimeter until the following morning. A thorough search of the area revealed 50 well built bunkers with overhead cover, of which 15 had cement casings. Equipment, supplies, and the size of the area gave evidence that a large enemy force had been opposing Company A. The manner in which Company A reacted, the number of instances of individual heroism, and the unit's ability to gain fire superiority and out maneuver a numerically superior enemy force clearly indicates that Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, soundly defeated the enemy and turned what might have been disastrous defeat into decisive victory. Company A's actions reflect great credit upon itself, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, and the United States Army and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.


Lyndon B. Johnson, Presidential Unit Citation Awarded to Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), USA. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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