United States Valorous Unit Award (VUA)

Listed below are the names of those Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) personnel eligible to wear the US Valorous Unit Award (Army) for service with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces and its assigned units for the period from 1 April 1970 to 8 May 1970.  Members of AATTV at the time were serving with 1st Battalion Mobile Strike Force. The Governor-General of Australia approved the acceptance and wearing of the VUA.
 
 

Extract of the Valorous Unit Award originally awarded on 29th June 1971 reads as follows:
 

By direction of the Secretary of the Army, under the provisions of paragraph 203, AR 672-5-1, the Valorous Unit Award is awarded to the following named units of the United States Army and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam for extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations during the periods indicated.

DETACHMENT A-245, 5TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE), 1ST SPECIAL FORCES and its assigned or attached units:

Detachment A-114, Vietnamese Special Forces
Civilian Irregular Defense Group, Camp Dak Seang
1st Battalion Mobile Strike Force, Detachment B-20, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (3 April 1970 - 11 April 1970)
4th Battalion Mobile Strike Force, Detachment B-20, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (8 April 1970 - 29 April 1970)
207 Company, Civilian Irregular Defense Group, Camp Plateau Gi (1 April  1970 - 28 April 1970)
85th Ordnance Detachment, 1st Logistical Command (8 April 1970 - 8 May 1970)

The citation reads as follows:

DETACHMENT A-245, 5TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE), 1ST SPECIAL FORCES and its assigned and attached units distinguished themselves through extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations in the Republic of Vietnam during the period 1 April 1970 to 8 May 1970.  During this period these gallant units were successful in halting and then defeating a determined enemy siege which had as its goal the eventual capture of Camp Dak Seang, an isolated special forces border camp in the Central Highlands of Vietnam's II Corps Tactical Zone.  On the morning of 1 April 1970 the enemy launched an intensive attack on Camp Dak Seang, employing rockets, mortars and recoilless rifles in a day long preparatory barrage before launching human wave attacks in the early evening.  The courageous defenders repelled the determined enemy assault, repeatedly employing tactical air support within 100 meters of friendly troops to eliminate numerous enemy crew served weapons positions surrounding the camp.  Turning the tide of battle, heroic elements forced the enemy to retreat under heavy contact, ending the month long siege.  The extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty displayed by the members of DETACHMENT A-245, 5TH SPECIAL FORCES (AIRBORNE) and its assigned and attached units are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon themselves, their unit and the Armed Forces of the United States and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.
 


 
SERVICE NUMBER RANK NAME

 
42042 MAJ BEALE,  P.W.  DSO
25415 CAPT SHILSTON,  P.J.  MC  **
1410972 WO2 BARNES,  R.A.  DCM
335135 WO2 COCHRANE,  D.S.  MM
36246  WO2 JAMIESON,  G.Y.  MID  **
29779 WO2 MCCLOSKEY,  A.B.  DCM  **
13824 WO2 PETTIT,  J.G.  MID (POST.) KIA
42728 WO2 SANDERSON,  P.N.  WIA
213399 WO2 SCOWCROFT,  L.B.  WIA **
16071 WO2 WHITE,  A.G.  DCM  **

**  = Now deceased

FOOTNOTE:

It took nearly 40 years for this award to be recognised by the Australian Government for the above AATTV members.  Bruce Davies AATTV co-author of the book, "The Men Who Persevered", ISBN 1 74114 8316, came across information for the award during research for his book.  Bruce then obtained documentation from our US allies and made application through the Honours and Awards Secretariat of Australia for recognition of the award for AATTV members. The US Valorous Unit Award is the equivalent to the US Silver Star as awarded to individuals.

In his book, "Operation Orders: The Experiences of an Infantry Officer" ISBN: 18764339513 published in 2003, Pat Beale Commander of 1st Battalion, II Corps Mobile Strike Force details his units action during the battle of Dak Seang.
 
 



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