Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Company B, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade,
Date of Action: February 8, 1967


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Elija Fields, Sergeant 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 B, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. Sergeant First Class Fields distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 8 February 1967 while serving as platoon leader during his company's mission to secure a new helicopter landing zone in War Zone D. As the company moved through thick jungle, it was struck suddenly by intense fire from a well entrenched Viet Cong force. Several men were wounded, and the order was given to withdraw. When it was discovered that a severely wounded man lay only ten feet from a hostile emplacement and was unable to move, several attempts were made to save his life. However the insurgents had control of the fields of fire and every attempt was to no avail. At this point, Sergeant Fields volunteered to make the rescue. Having directed his men to place continuous machine gun fire just above him, he crawled and ran to the wounded man's position. He then located and killed the insurgent manning the closest weapon. Disregarding the hostile fire that was still striking all around him, Sergeant Fields rolled the casualty onto a poncho and dragged him to safety. By his calm, clearheaded actions while under intense fire, he saved the life of a wounded comrade who was in critical danger. Platoon Sergeant Fields' 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. 4454 (September 1, 1967)



DSC Awardees