Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded to 1LT Philip L. Spackman

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Headquarters, Americal Division
APO San Francisco 96374

NUMBER          3625
September 25, 1969


1.  TC 320.  The following AWARD is announced.

E Troop, 1st Cavalry, 11th LIB, Americal Division,
Awarded:  Distinguished Service Cross
Date action:  July 2, 1969
Theater:  Republic of Vietnam

Reason: The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Philip L. Spackman, First Lieutenant (Armor), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Troop E, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Americal Division. First Lieutenant Spackman distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 2 July 1969 while serving as platoon leader during a unit patrol operation in the Rice Bowl district near An Lao. As the lead armored personnel carrier crossed a stream and penetrated a hedgerow, it was struck simultaneously be several rocket grenades, wounding all the occupants. A hostile force of North Vietnamese began moving down the stream bed to cut off the damaged vehicle from the rest of the troop. Lieutenant Spackman immediately killed the nearest enemy soldier and repelled the rest of the assailants. While reinforcements secured the river crossing, he dashed to the vehicle through strafing automatic weapons fire and removed the casualties from exposure to direct fire. Then he and the less severely wounded carried the injured across the stream. Deploying the other vehicles along the river bank to engage the hostile positions beyond the hedgerow, he directed their firing as well as that of the gunships which had arrived. He also established communication with and assisted the commander of an Infantry element that had been airlifted near the enemy force. When the infantrymen began advancing on the communists' flank, Lieutenant Spackman maneuvered his armored personnel carriers on line and rolled toward the enemy positions. Encountering stiff resistance from one bunker, he directed his driver to rush the position. Firing from atop his tracked vehicle, Lieutenant Spackman pinned the enemy down until his vehicle passed by the position into which he threw several grenades, which destroyed the structure and killed the enemy. With the last bunker eliminated, the enemy were routed from the area. First Lieutenant Spackman'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.
Authority:   By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.

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