Master Sergeant Lawrence W. Allen gained the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism during a sweep operation 15 miles northeast of Tay Ninh, Vietnam, on 9 June 1969. Encountering hostile fire from a woodline, the company placed its armored personnel carriers on line and advanced toward the enemy positions. Sergeant Allen moved from man to man directing their assault. When his radio-telephone operator was wounded, Sergeant Allen relieved him of the radio and carried it throughout the ensuing battle. While assaulting an enemy bunker, he was wounded by grenade fragmentation, but he continued toward the fortification until he could silence it with accurately-thrown grenades. As the batted raged on, Sergeant Allen observed an armored vehicle receive a rocket-propelled grenade. Without hesitation, he dashed through a curtain of hostile fire to reach the damaged personnel carrier. Removing the wounded gunner, he manned the fifty-caliber machine gun and unleashed a fusillade of suppressive fire so intense that other men were able to approach the track and evacuate the wounded. After relinquishing the machine gun, he returned to his men who were pinned down by machine gun fire from a nearby bunker. Sergeant Allen and one of his men stormed the machine gun emplacement. When the other man was wounded, Sergeant Allen continued until, he too, was shot. Despite the painful wounds, Sergeant Allen crawled forward and threw a grenade into the bunker. Platoon Sergeant Allen√≠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.
MSG. Allen joined the Legion of Valor in 1975.