Joe V. Abernathy
First Lieutenant Joe V. Abernathy served in Company B, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He was issued the Distinguished Service Cross on 9 June 1969. | DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS CITATION: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of 25 July 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Joe V. Abernathy (ASN: 0-5351930), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with B Company, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry, 1st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized). First Lieutenant Abernathy distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 25 October 1968 while serving as a platoon leader on a battalion search and clear mission in enemy held territory of northern I Corps. One of the companies encountered a formidable mArizonae of enemy fortifications scattered among hedgerows and bamboo thickets. The enemy initiated a massive attack which pinned down the unit. In an effort to relieve the imperiled and hard-pressed company, Lieutenant Abernathy led his platoon in a charge up a steep hill, overrunning three mortar installations. During his assault, he personally shot and killed three North Vietnamese at point-blank range. Reconsolidating his platoon, he pressed on, covering two hundred meters before severe strafing fire deterred his advance. A quick evaluation revealed a single well-camouflaged battlement from which the automatic weapon salvos erupted. He immediately directed the firing of a light antitank weapon on the position. Then, braving hazardous barrages and sniper fire, he and two other men assaulted and overpowered the bunker. First Lieutenant Abernathy'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.