By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded


William H. Bledsoe



Rank and Unit:  Specialist Four, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division

Date and Place:  12 Mary 1968,  Republic of Vietnam

Reason:  For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam:  Specialist four Bledsoe distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 12 May 1968 as a medic at Kham Duc Special Forces camp.  He was stationed at an observation post when a large North Vietnamese force directed a series of mortar, rocket and ground attacks against it. When the post could no longer be defended, his team was ordered back to the base camp.  While passing through a small village near the compound's perimeter, Specialist Bledsoe's element came under heavy mortar and small arms fire to aid his injured comrade.  Afterwards, as the small band crossed into the perimeter, and enemy mortar round exploded in one of the camp's gun pits, and Specialist Bledsoe ran into the position and administer medical aid to the wounded.  While he was treating the casualties, the emplacement was hit by another mortar round which severely wounded him and set fire to the position.  Despite his wounds and the flames, he continued to treat the other casualties and move them to safety.  He then prepared his patients for evacuation.  As the ambulance helicopters arrived, one of them was shot down by the heavy enemy fire.  Despite efforts to restrain him, Specialist Bledsoe ran over three hundred meters through a hail of mortar shrapnel to reach the downed aircraft.  After freeing a trapped crew member, he carried the man through continuing intense fire to a position of cover.  Specialist Four Bledsoe'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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