GREEN BERETS Bott, Russell Peter (Pete)

Air America
By Christopher Robbins
Ticking Clock
By Noel Cashford

John Robertson

Staff member
Russell Peter (Pete)
  • UNIT
5 SF Group (Det B-52) (Project Delta) (RT Viper)
  • RANK
Sergeant First Class
Distinguished Service Cross
South Vietnam 1966
KIA -see Roll of Honour



Distinguished Service Cross : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Russell P. Bott, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Detachment B-52, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during the period 29 November 1966 to 1 December 1966. Sergeant Bott distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as a Special Forces advisor to a joint American-Vietnamese reconnaissance team. On the night of 29 November, the team was infiltrated deep within hostile territory, and throughout the night heard movement close to its position. The following morning, Sergeant Bott and his four comrades fiercely engaged ten Viet Cong troops, killing six and forcing the rest to flee. Continuing their patrol, the team again noticed insurgent presence during that night. On the morning of 1 December, fearing their position had been compromised, the team members were forced to open fire on another hostile group. Soon after the initial exchange of fire, Sergeant Bott's patrol was surrounded by a large Viet Cong unit. During the ensuing assaults, the other American advisor was seriously wounded and one Vietnamese was killed. Along with only two other men capable of fighting, Sergeant Bott dauntlessly directed their fire and threw grenades, as they bravely held their position. When rescue helicopters finally reached the team's location, the two Vietnamese soldiers started to maneuver towards the pickup zone. With complete disregard for his safety, Sergeant Bott raised his pistol and motioned them to continue without him, as he elected to stay behind with the wounded advisor. His selfless decision to remain alone and protect his stricken comrade against overwhelming odds was an act of unimpeachable valor. Sergeant Bott'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.

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