Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Company A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate),
Date of Action: June 22, 1967


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Robert Richard Litwin, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate). Platoon Sergeant Litwin distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 22 June 1967 while serving as rifle platoon sergeant of an infantry company on a search and destroy mission near Dak To. His platoon was savagely attacked by a North Vietnamese battalion and pinned down by an intense hail of automatic weapons fire. Seeing his platoon leader killed, Sergeant Litwin stood up in the midst of the raging firefight to rally his men against the numerically superior hostile force. Wounded early in the battle, he refused aid and directed the fire of his men on wave after wave of onrushing enemy soldiers. He heard a cry for help and braved withering fire to race forward of his lines and aid a wounded comrade. Wounded again, he bravely carried the man back to safety under heavy fire. He continued to repel the mass assaults while radioing for air strikes within fifty meters of his positions. He sustained another wound while directing the air and artillery strikes, but continued to refuse aid while fighting furiously to repulse the enemy onslaught. Realizing that his defenses could not last much longer, he moved through the bullet-swept area directing the withdrawal of his men. While evacuating the wounded, he was hit again. Continuing to refuse aid, he sent his men ahead and remained to cover the withdrawal. He was mortally wounded while courageously leading his men in the face of grave danger. Platoon Sergeant Litwin's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, 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. 5285 (October 16, 1967)

Home Town: Willimansett, Massachusetts


DSC Awardees