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)




DSC Awardees