Herbert J Dexter

Army of the United States
01 March 1932 - 18 September 1965
Decatur, Illinois
Panel 02E Line 086

Distinguished Service Cross

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Herbert John Dexter

The database page for Herbert J Dexter

11 Mar 2002

I do not fear an army of lions, if they are led by a lamb.
I do fear an army of sheep, if they are led by a lion.
- Alexander the Great -

Major Herbert John Dexter, United States Army,
was buried on 29 September 1965 in Plot D-205,
Camp Butler National Cemetery,
Springfield, Illinois,
among other men of courage and integrity.

Dexter Elementary School,
Fort Benning, Georgia,
is named after Major Dexter.
He is remembered on the
school's web site

From his son,
Doug Dexter
23 Jun 2007

I was his daughter's roommate at McComb University.

From a friend,
Nancy Hanes

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" page.

United States Army Vietnam
APO San Francisco

4 November 1965



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

Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date action: 18 Sep 1965
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: 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.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son,
Doug Dexter

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index D
IL State Index . Panel 02E
502ND INF RGT Index


With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Mar 2002
Last updated 02/05/2008