A Note from The Virtual Wall
On 18 September 1965 the recently arrived 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division launched Operation GIBRALTAR, an air assault aimed at VC and North Vietnamese units headquartered at An Ninh, a tiny village located about 28 kilometers east-northeast of the Brigade's base at An Khe. Major Dexter, the Battalion Operations Officer, was one of the men killed in the assault; a summary of the action and a list of the US servicemen who died as a result of it can be found on The Virtual Wall's
"Battle of An Ninh"
United States Army Vietnam
APO San Francisco
4 November 1965
AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.
Herbert J. DEXTER, Major (Infantry) U.S. Army
HQ and HQ Company, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 502nd Infantry Regiment
||Distinguished Service Cross|
||18 Sep 1965|
||Republic of Vietnam|
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Herbert J. Dexter, Major (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. On 18 September 1965, Major Dexter, the S3 Officer of the 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, was accompanying his battalion on a search and destroy mission in the vicinity of Binh Khe, Republic of Vietnam. The battalion was airlifted to the operational area and upon arriving encountered increasingly heavy hostile fire from various insurgent positions. A friendly platoon, which had landed in a previous lift, was forced to withdraw from a tactically important hill along the landing zone perimeter. Realizing the importance of the hill as a defensive position, Major Dexter, with complete disregard for his personal safety, voluntarily rushed to the now heavily infested hostile area and successfully reorganized the friendly forces positioned there. He quickly issued competent instructions and personally led the left flank element up the hill, despite the intense hostile small arms and mortar fire being directed at the platoon. While securing the crest, Major Dexter personally killed two insurgents who were at a deadly close range and sustained a leg wound from the murderous Viet Cong fire. Realizing that his leadership and encouragement were needed to inspire the members of the besieged platoon to hold the hill position, Major Dexter, although in great pain from his wound, continually refused to be evacuated. As the battle raged on, he was mortally wounded. Major Dexter's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.