Distinguished Service Cross

Leon D. Bieri


Major Infantry

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

17 December 1966

Republic of Vietnam


For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam:

Major Bieri distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 17 December 1966 while serving as Battalion Operations Officer during the relief of a small unit engaged with two entrenched Viet Cong battalions near Bong Song.  Learning that two company commanders had become casualties, Major Bieri volunteered to be flown into the beleaguered companies to led them through the assault.  On reaching a company pinned down by intense fire, he fearlessly stood up in the fireswept area and led his men straight into the hostile positions to their front.  His sudden attack startled the insurgents and forced them to drop back to a secondary perimeter.  Again his men were stopped by devastating fire.  Moving to his right to lead a platoon in another flanking maneuver, Major Bieri encountered three insurgents who had penetrated his perimeter.  Armed with only a pistol, he killed all three, but suffered a serious shoulder wound.  Spotting another sniper behind the lines, he also killed this man before he could fire a shot at the friendly soldiers.  When Major Bieri succeeded in leading a squad in a flanking attack on the Viet Cong, the insurgents feared being surrounded and tried to break by running right through his small element.  Although losing blood and completely exposed to hostile fire, he directed aerial attacks until the frantic enemy withdrew. Major Bieri then supervised evacuation of the wounded until he passed out for loss of blood.  Major Bieri'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.

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