HELMICK, ROBERT F.
HELMICK, ROBERT F.
Captain (Armor), U.S. Army
Company D, 16th Armor, 173rd Airborne Brigade,
Date of Action: March 4, 1968
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Robert
F. Helmick, Captain (Armor), 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 D, 16th Armor, 173d Airborne
Brigade. Captain Helmick distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions
on 4 March 1968 while engaged with a numerically superior North Vietnamese
Army/Viet Cong force which had captured the northern half of the city of Tuy Hoa.
When one of his armored personnel carriers was hit by an enemy rocket during an
attack on the entrenched communists, Captain Helmick moved his vehicle over to
the disabled track to prevent it from being overrun until both carrier and crew
were evacuated. Although weak from loss of blood because of wounds received in
the morning, he continued to spearhead his company's efforts and late in the
afternoon the enemy was trapped on all sides. Finding that his fire was having
no effect against one fortification on the final assault, he jumped from his
track with an automatic rifle and killed the occupants of the bunker. Two
armored personnel carriers on his right flank received direct hits from hostile
rockets and Captain Helmick was again wounded. With complete disregard for his
safety, he brought heavy fire against the communists while his stricken comrades
were evacuated and exposed himself to the murderous fusillade until the enemy
was defeated. Captain Helmick'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. 1196 (April 7, 1969)