BOEDECKER, BILLY E.
BOEDECKER, BILLY E.
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Company A, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate),
Date of Action: November 18, 1967
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Billy E.
Boedecker, Private First Class, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in
connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile
force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion
(Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate). Private First Class
Boedecker distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions in close
combat on 18 November 1967 as acting assistant machine gunner of an airborne
infantry company conducting search and destroy operations on Hill 882 near Dak
To. His unit was moving toward the crest of the hill when it was subjected to
savage automatic weapons, rocket and small arms fire from an estimated two
companies of North Vietnamese Army soldiers. Private Boedecker unhesitatingly
raced to the point of heaviest contact, set up his machine gun and placed
devastating fire on the hostile force, killing six of the enemy. He was wounded
by small arms fire and taken to the center of the perimeter. After receiving
first aid, he quickly moved back to his machine gun, shouting words of
encouragement to his fellow soldiers as he ran toward the forward position..
During the ensuing action, Private Boedecker was struck six more times by enemy
bullets. He was evacuated to the rear, treated and told to remain with the other
seriously wounded men. Although weak from loss of blood, he got to his feet and
courageously returned once more to his exposed position, repelling furious North
Vietnamese assaults with a heavy volume of fire. While fighting fiercely against
the advancing hostile force, Private Boedecker was wounded yet again by an enemy
rocket and evacuated from the battlefield to a hospital. Private First Class
Boedecker's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the
highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon
himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1419 (March 29, 1968)