By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded


Douglas A. Dettman



Rank and Unit:  Private First Class, Company C, 3d Battalion, 8th Infantry, 1st Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, United States Army

Date and Place:  9 & 11 November 1967,  Republic of Vietnam

Reason:  For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Dettman distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 9 and 11 November 1967 while serving as medical aidman of an infantry company on a search and destroy operation near Dak To. On 9 November the company was savagely attacked by a large North Vietnamese Army force and sustained several casualties in the initial moments of the fight. The wounded were trapped in the open, and Private Dettman completely disregarded his personal safety to move through a fierce curtain of fire and reach his fallen comrades. He ignored hostile bullets striking all around him and went from man to man to skillfully administer aid throughout the duration of the battle. On 11 November the company again became heavily engaged with the enemy and received numerous casualties as the battle progressed. One platoon was particularly hit hard, and Private Dettman courageously went to their aid. After crawling fifty meters through intense machine gun and mortar fire to the unit's position, he quickly began treating the wounded. An enemy mortar round burst nearby and seriously wounded him, but he continued applying his lifesaving skills. His fearless actions and selfless devotion to the welfare of his fellow soldiers were responsible for saving several soldiers in the heat of the battle. Private First Class Dettman'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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