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)

DSC Awardees