GENERAL ORDERS NUMBER 1342 - The following AWARD is announced.
STARR, WILLIAM J. 313-44-2919
CAPTAIN INFANTRY United States Army
Company C, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry
1st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), APO 96477
Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date of action: 12 November 1969
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Authority By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 25 July 1963.
Reason: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Re-public of Vietnam. Captain Starr distinguished himself while commanding a mechanized infantry company during a battalion size reconnaissance-in-force operation just south of the De-militarized Zone in northern I Corps Tactical Zone. As the friendly force was sweeping through a valley near the village of Cam Lo, it became engaged in fighting with elements of the 27th North Vietnamese Army Regiment. In the initial moments of contact, the First Platoon of Captain Starr’s company was surrounded by enemy troops and pinned down by a heavy concentration of rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. Captain Starr quickly assembled a reaction force and led it in a rapid counter-assault over some hundred meters of terrain swept by grenade and small arms fire. As he attempted to maneuver his relief force on the flank of the enemy's fortified gun emplacements, Captain Starr and his men were suddenly caught in an ambush of enemy grenades. when one grenade landed in the foxhole in which he and several comrades took cover, Captain Starr immediately scooped up the explosive device and attempted to throw it away, but before he could get the grenade off, the device exploded, severing his right hand and part of his arm. Captain Starr's body absorbed the entire force of the blast, preventing any injury to the men who were with him. Captain Starr'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.
U. S. ARMY VIETNAM
FOR THE COMMANDER
VERNE L. BOWERS
Brigadier General, US Army
Chief of Staff
JOHN A. O’BRIEN