By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded


William D. Meara Jr.



Rank and Unit:  Captain, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

Date and Place:  2 November 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:  Captain Meara distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 2 November 1968 while commanding his company on a reconnaissance-in-force-mission south of Landing Zone Billie.  As his unit was returning to the landing zone, one platoon suddenly came under intense fire from a numerically superior North Vietnamese's Army force and was severed completely from the remainder of the company.  Captain Meara immediately turned his lead elements around to go to the aid of the besieged platoon.  Approaching the battle area, the relief column also came under heavy small arms fire from enemy bunkers to their front.  Captain Meara deployed his troops and moved among their positions, directing their fire, shouting words of encouragement and checking for casualties.  After he had prepared his company for an attack, he and his point man led an assault on the first bunker in their path.  Firing their weapons and hurling grenades, they charged and destroyed the emplacement, killing its occupants.  Despite the fierce hostile fire, the two men continued their furious on-slaught until the point man was felled by sniper fire as they advanced on another fortification.  Captain Meara instantly placed a heavy volley on the communists and attempted to reach his comrade.  Braving the enemy barrage, he courageously persisted in his efforts until he was mortally wounded.  Captain Meara's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the coast 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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