Major George W. Hughes

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Major George W. Hughes

Major George W. Hughes was commissioned an Infantry Officer upon graduating OCS class 4-65, Fort Benning, Georgia. His first duty assignment was Fort Jackson South Carolina. | His notable duty assignments include: OCS Tac Officer, Operations Officer Training Command and Company Commander, Vietnam. | His military education consists of: OCS class 4-65, Officer Advance Course, Jungle Warfare School in Panama and the Infantry Advance Course. | His highest military awards include: Distinguished Service Cross, 3 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Jungle Expert Badge, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service w/ 10 Bronze Stars. | MAJ Hughes earned the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

First Lieutenant Hughes distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 5 May 1966 while commanding an anti-tank platoon during a dismounted combat operation near Bong Son. As the unit moved across an open rice paddy, it suddenly received intense mortar and recoilless rifle fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Lieutenant Hughes ran through the exploding rounds to coordinate an assault on the woodline to his front. As the platoon began advancing, he constantly exposed himself while moving between his men, shouting encouragement and directing fire on the insurgent positions. Approximately 300 meters short of the woodline, the unit was pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from a reinforced Viet Cong battalion. Since withdrawal was impossible due to mortar fire to his rear, Lieutenant Hughes dauntlessly led his platoon in three attempts to break through the hostile lines. Though wounded and suffering from a badly twisted ankle, he continued to exhibit leadership and personal courage that was an inspiration to his men. Throughout the 3-hour battle, Lieutenant Hughes disregarded his safety to direct the beleaguered unit. When the platoon was finally extracted, he again exposed himself to the hostile fire to ensure that all his men were evacuated before entering the armored vehicles himself. His composure under fire saved his platoon and inflicted heavy casualties on a numerically superior hostile force. Lieutenant Hughes' 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. General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 6925 (December 19, 1966). His actions are recorded in his book, “Always A Soldier.” | Major Hughes was the driving force to organize OCS class 4-65 annual reunions. It took a tremendous amount of his time and effort to locate and contact our classmates. His efforts resulted in the most cohesive reunion group that graduated from OCS at Fort Benning.

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