COLONEL DAVID B. HACKWORTH, (then Lieutenant Colonel), Infantry United States Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Lieutenant Colonel Hackworth distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period of 23 to 25 March 1969 as battalion commander while his unit was engaged with elements of two Viet Cong battalions. After one of his companies came under attack from a numerically superior hostile force, Colonel Hackworth landed his command and control helicopter amid heavy enemy fire to resupply the unit with ammunition and to evacuate casualties. Remaining with his forces on the ground, he led a patrol in pursuit of the withdrawing enemy and, after learning the enemy s withdrawal plan from a captured soldier, directed the insertion of other elements of his battalion into blocking positions. As the conflict developed into a large scale battle, he again took to the air and flew through intense antiaircraft fire to adjust artillery fire and direct the movement of his men. He repeatedly landed to coordinate with his ground commanders, lead assaults against hostile positions, and evacuate casualties. When a friendly scout element sustained several casualties and became pinned down near the communist emplacements, he disembarked from his helicopter to maneuver through the hostile fusillade and assist the wounded men to his aircraft. When he had insured that the injured were being evacuated, he adjusted supporting fire on the enemy fortifications until the enemy was soundly defeated and their weapons and supplied confiscated. Lieutenant Colonel Hackworth 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.
View Colonel Hackworth’s first Distinguished Service Cross Citation.
Col. Hackworth was a LIFE MEMBER of the Legion of Valor.