DSC, SILVER STARS, DFC
The foilowing report is just a few of the hundreds of individual Awards received by memebers of our Association's units. When the history of the units of the 145th is completed it would be nice to have a section for individual Awards for Valor. If you have a copy of any of these Awards could you have a copy made and send it in for our file, and someday hopefully a book of our units complete history.
AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS: FRAKER, WILLIAM W, CAPTAIN, Awarded: Distingushed Service Cross, Date action: 10 June 1965, Reason: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. After an attack which took place: at - approximately 0100 hundred hours, 10 June 1965, the Vietnamese hamlet of Dong Xoai was overrun by a Viet Cong force of approximately regimental size and a nearby military compound was being subjected to a heavy barrage of insurgent fire. At about 1000 hours, Captain Fraker and two other American pilots were assigned the mission of flying their armed UH-1B helicopters to the battle area; conducting a low level reconnaissance to determine the Viet Cong strength, fire capability and effectiveness; and selecting and marking troop landing zones. Two different helicopters troop lifts of Vietnamese army personnel, whose forces totalled approximately
battalion size strength, were dispatched to the selected landing sites which were previously flare marked by Captain Franker and the other two Americans. After being at the battlesite for only a few minutes, the friendly Vietnamese troops were completely annihilated due to the manpower superiority of the insurgent force. Word was received that several Americans and Vietnamese were still holding the besieged compound. Plans were then initiated to evacuate the besieged force. Captain Fraker volunteered to fly his aircraft to escort three rescue helicopter. Upon reaching the embattled compound all aircraft became subjected to a heavy volume of hostile fire and each received hits from the insurgent barrage. After landing, only two of the three rescue craft were able to evacuate the personnel from the compound. The third was badly damaged and grounded during the operation. One American and three Vietnamese soldiers remained in the compound to cover the airlift of the heavily overloaded and damaged evacuation helicopters. Realizing the fate of the gallant defenders and the fact that his was the only aircraft immediately available for any further evacuation attempt, Captain Fraker, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, maneuvered his helicopter through the thick hail of hostile fire to a landing between two earth mounds within the compound. Once on the ground, the UH-1B became the subject of all insurgent fire and a group af Viet Cong made a suicidal charge to the airship. Captain Fraker then rallied his crewmen in a desperate attempt to ward off the onrushing horde while he expertly piloted the dangerously overloaded helicopter precariously and slowly once again through the heavy concentration of hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire. Despite the superior Yiet Cong firepower, Captain Fraker successfully piloted his helicopter through the murderous barrage and effected the safe and final evacuation of all personnel from the besieged eompound. Captain Fraker's extraordinary heroism and gallantry in action were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.
Authority: By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 25 July 1963 Department of the Army Message 323747, 12 December 1962, as amended, and Department of the Army Message 702316 dated 3 February 1965.
AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR MEDAL FRAKER, WILLIAM W, MAJOR, Awarded: Silver Star Medal, Date action: 27 August 1965, Theater: Republic of Vietnam, Reason: For gallantry in action in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force: Captain Fraker distinguished himself while serving as an armed helicopter platoon leader supporting operation Dan Chi 157 near the village of Vi Thanh, Repulic of Vietnam. Two battalions of Vietnamese soldiers were pinned down in an area, of open rice paddies by a superior Viet Cong force. The situation was critical when he arrived with his armed helicopter platoon. He immediately pinpointed the location of all friendly units, and then exposed himself, voluntarily and courageously, to the intense enemy fire in order to locate all of their automatic weapons. His helicopters was struck many times by this deadly fire, causing serious damage to his aircraft. He persisted in his action and was successful on locating and silencing many of the Viet Cong weapons. An armed helicopter had been shot down adjacent to the battle scene, and he realized that the Viet Cong would attempt to destroy this aircraft unless it was protected. Five times the Uiet Cong tried to reach the downed aircraft and five times he drove them away and saved the helicopters from destruction. He then used his knowledge of the enemy positions and selected a safe landing zone for a reinforcing helicopter lift. The Viet Cong set a trap for the incoming lift and attempt to decoy them into it. He thwarted this attempt by flying his helicopter between the Viet Cong and the unsuspecting helicopters loaded with Vietnamese troops. Again, his helicopter was struck and further damaged by the deadly Viet Cong fire. He then turned the lift away from the trap and led them into the safe landing zone he had previously selected. An American advisor was seriously wounded and had to be evacuted. He attempted desperately to land and pick him up, but was prevented from doing this by the concentrated fires from three Viet Cong machine guns firing from less then fifty meters away. His helicopters were again struck by this deadly fire. He broke off from his attempt and led his armed helicopters in a devastating strike on the three machine guns and silenced them, killing or wounding their crews thus allowing the ground forces to penetrate the main defense line of the Viet Cong and enabled the wounded Americans to be evacuated. His unimpeachable valor against a vicious enemy force is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
AUTHORITY: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.
By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, dated 9 July 1918, the Silver Star is awarded to SPECIALIST FOUR THOMAS 0. BROWN, UNITED STATES ARMY for gallantry in action against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: SPECIALIST FOUR RRDWN distinguished himself by intrepid actions on 22 September 1969 while serving as a Crew Chief with the 7lst Avaition Company. On that date, Specialist Brown was flying aboard a UH-1H helicopter during a combat assault in support of friendly ground forces conducting operations southwest of Landing Zone Center. Upon approach to the
designated landing zone. Specialist Brown's aircraft came under intense enemy automatic weapons fire. Specialist Brown immediately began engaging the insurgents, but despite his accurate fire, six of the personnei on board were mortally wounded before the ship landed. In addition, Specialist Brown and several other soldiers were seriously wounded. Once on the ground, Specialist Brown ignored his painful injuries and braved the heavy volumes of hostile fire as he assisted the wounded pilot to a waiting rescue helicopter. When the recovery ship was damaged by the hostile fire and forced to autorotate in a nearby rice paddie, Specialist Brown again carried the wounded pilot to another rescue aircraft that was summoned to the site. His courageous and timely actions were instrumental in saving the life of his fellow soldier and in the overall success of the mission. Specialist Four Brown's personal heroism, professional competence, and devotion to duty are keeping with
the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, the Americal Division, and the United States Army.
AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS, FRAKER, WILLIAM W, CAPTIAN, Date action: 17 July 1965, Theather: Republic of Vietnam, Reason: For heroism while participating in aerial flight: Captain Fraker distinguished himself on 17 July 1965 while serving as platoon commander of an armed helicopter platoon on a night search and destroy mission against a Uiet Cong stronghold near Duc Hoa, Republic of Uietnam. In the face of withering antiaircraft fire, Captain Fraker led his flight in three successive actions that accounted for the sinking of six Viet Cong supply boats, destroying an unknown amount of supplies, weapons and ammunition, killing or wounding an estimated 35 insurgents and destruction of a .50 caliber antiaircraft weapon. His actions were a source of tremendous inspiration to his fellow aviators and ground advisors in the area. Due to Captain Fraker's courage and overwhelming desire to destroy the enemy, a decisive victory was scored against the Viet Cong, who were supposedly invincible during the hours of darkness. His actions during three hours of continuous and deadly combat with a well armed Viet Cong force and his display of professional abilities were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. Authority: By direction of the president under the promise of the Act of Congress, approved 2 July 1926.
THE "WALL" , 1O YEARS AFTER
This Veterans Day will be the l0th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in cooperation with EDS is putting together "RE*UNION '92", in current talks with them; they are planning on having tents set up all over the Mall, a tent for each major unit. EDS is setting up a locator service by name, unit assigned,
dates, with current address, phone, hotel for RE*UNION '92, etc. The "Wall" will be the place to be this Veterans Day, and this will be the year to be there. The events will run from the 4th of November to the llth of November. As Veterans Day get closer I'll have more info on what is planned each day, so for the most current info please contact me by phone or mail. Bill Sheets, my room mate in Vietnam, said I could share a room with him at the Quality Inn at 1200 N Court House Rd in Arlington VA, I think the dates are 5-10
November. I talked with VHPA and VHCMA and although they have nothing official setup, Mike Law (VHPA) will be there and VHCMA will have someone there. I will try to find more of our people there to. See you there if you can make it.