First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army
Company B, 4th Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate),
Date of Action: January 16, 1967


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Daniel J. Severson, First Lieutenant (Infantry), 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, 4th Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate). First Lieutenant Severson distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 16 January 1967 while serving with elements of the 503rd Infantry on a search and destroy operation near Ben Cat. As company Executive Officer, Lieutenant Severson was accompanying the point platoon when it made contact and assaulted a hostile bunker complex. During the intense fire-fight that ensued, several friendly casualties were sustained, including the platoon leader. Lieutenant Severson immediately assumed command and, exposed to the devastating fire, moved along the line shouting encouragement, distributing ammunition and directing fire into the insurgent emplacements. Inspired and calmed by his gallant leadership, the platoon quickly regrouped and killed four Viet Cong before being ordered to withdraw. As the unit stated to pull back, it suddenly received murderous fire from a hidden gun on the right flank. Lieutenant Severson dauntlessly advanced toward the Viet Cong position, until he was knocked unconscious by an exploding grenade, which killed his radio operator and disabled his weapon. Regaining consciousness, and armed only with grenades, he single-handedly assaulted the hostile emplacement, but was painfully wounded in the leg. With complete disregard for his safety, he continued to crawl forward and silenced the weapon, killing one insurgent. Refusing medical treatment, Lieutenant Severson covered the platoon withdrawal and returned to the company perimeter only after ensuring that none of his dead or wounded were left behind. Demonstrating boundless courage and aggressive determination, he further assisted the commander in directing air strikes which routed the hostile force. First Lieutenant Severson 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. 1064 (March 12, 1967)


DSC Awardees