GREEN BERETS Davan, Benedict Maher

John Robertson

Staff member
Benedict Maher
  • UNIT
5 SF Group (Det A-504) (5 Mike Force) (512 MSF Company)
  • RANK
Staff Sergeant
Distinguished Service Cross
South Vietnam 1969
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 pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Benedict Maher Davan (ASN: RA-11426391), 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-55, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Staff Sergeant Davan distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 17 March 1969 as company commander of a mobile strike force company during a search and clear operation against the enemy strongholds of Coto Mountain in Chau Doc Province. Sergeant Davan's company came under intense sniper, machine gun and B-40 rocket fire from a well-camouflaged site located among the tall boulders and cave complexes. Seeing that his troops were confused and becoming disorganized, he exposed himself to the hostile fusillade to encourage them and then led a small element through withering machine gun fire to a vantage point. After instructing these men to lay down covering fire, he single-handedly assaulted the communists and placed such deadly fire on them that their position was destroyed and eleven of them surrendered. Sergeant Davan's company regrouped and continued on until they again came under heavy machine gun fire, wounding three men and pinning them down. Sergeant Davan courageously rescued two of the casualties and was approaching a third when he was shot and killed by an enemy sniper. Staff Sergeant Davan'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.

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