By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded 


Thomas D. Poole



Rank and Organization:  Private First Class, Company A, 5th Battalion (Airmobile), 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

Date and Place:  12 February 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:  Private First Class Poole distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 12 February 1968 as a rifleman during a search and destroy operation in Quan Huong Tra Province.  His company was moving toward a treeline on the far side of a rice paddy when it was subjected to heavy mortar, recoilless rifle and small arms fire from a North Vietnamese Army force occupying entrenched and fortified positions in the woods.  Private Poole's platoon was temporarily pinned down behind some mounds of earth, but soon began an assault on the enemy.  Braving a hail of bullets and shrapnel.. Private Poole charged across one hundred meters of open rice paddy and engaged the North Vietnamese at close range.  Moving directly into the treeline, he personally assaulted an enemy bunker in his path, killing its three occupants with rifle fire.  The savage fusillade delivered by other hostile bunker increased in intensity, and his platoon was ordered to withdraw and regroup.  As Private Poole drew back across the rice paddy, he noticed a wounded platoon member lying exposed to the enemy weapons.  Completely disregarding his safety, he moved to assist the fallen soldier.  He was mortally wounded while attempting to rescue his comrade.  Private First Class Poole'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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