Distinguished Service Cross

Alton R. Kennedy


Private First Class

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:  

Private First Class Kennedy distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 17 December 1966 while serving as a medic with elements of the 1st Cavalry Division during a combat assault in the Highway 506 Valley. Maneuvering against an entrenched North Vietnamese Army force, his platoon and another company become pinned down by intense hostile fire. Private Kennedy quickly raced forward and began treating his stricken comrades. Dauntlessly exposing himself to the devastating fire, he was wounded in the leg as he aided a fellow soldier. Unmindful of the pain, Private Kennedy crawled to the side of another man and bandaged his wounds. He then called for men to help in the evacuation and made several trips back through the hail of bullets to carry more injured soldiers to safety. Oblivious to the extreme dangers, Private Kennedy left his covered position to retrieve another casualty, who was lying within ten meters of an insurgent bunker. Inching his way through the rounds that were kicking up dirt all around him, he succeeded in dragging the man back to the company perimeter. Pausing only to retard his own bleeding, Private Kennedy ignored requests to await further treatment and courageously reentered the ravaged battlefield. He crawled forward yet another time, but was fatally wounded a few meters from a hostile machine gun position. His unimpeachable valor and selfless concern for the welfare of others, inspired his entrapped comrades and saved the lives of others, inspired his entrapped comrades and saved the lives of many fellow soldiers. Private First Class Kennedy'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.

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