First Lieutenant Donald Woods Holman
First Lieutenant Holman, deceased (Killed in Action), England, U.S. Army, Viet Nam. Awards include the Silver Star Medal for Gallantry in Action, the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, and the Purple Heart Medal.
In Northern I Corps, the enemy was the North Vietnam Army NVA, not the Viet Cong. The MVA were well trained and highly disciplined troops. You should also be aware that after six months in the field Army Line Officers were normally transferred to safer duty stations in the rear areas. The Executive Officer of Don's company, stated that Don refused to go to the rear when his time on the line was up, rather choosing to remain with his platoon, knowing that he would continue to be in combat operations against NVA units on a regular basis. He was an exemplary example of what a combat leader is supposed to be. On March 10th 1970 First Lieutenant Holman was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in combat, the orders for The Silver Star reads as follows: First Lieutenant Holman distinguished himself by gallantry action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force on 10 March 1970, while serving as a platoon leader with Company D, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Republic of Vietnam. On this day Lieutenant Holman led a reaction force into an area of enemy contact. As he reached the area, Lieutenant Holman formed his platoon on line and began an assault upon the well concealed enemy positions. Seeing that one of the vehicles in the assault line had been stopped by a rocket propelled grenade which had injured the crew, Lieutenant Holman immediately interposed his tank between the wounded man and the enemy fire. As the wounded were being evacuated, Lieutenant Holman's vehicle was hit by rocket propelled grenade, causing the turret to burst into flames and trapping one of the crew. Warning his driver of the impending danger, Lieutenant Holman exposed himself to the enemy fire in order to place accurate suppressive fire upon the enemy with his machine gun. In spite of the intense fire and the enemy rounds, Lieutenant Holman held his position, effectively suppressing the enemy's advance until his crew could be evacuated and the vehicle and the trapped men could be freed. Lieutenant Holman was then mortally wounded by the hostile fire. First Lieutenant Holman’s actions 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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