GREEN BERETS Lytton, Balfour Oliver,Jr (Sonny)

John Robertson

Staff member
Balfour Oliver,Jr (Sonny)
  • UNIT
5 SF Group (Company B,Det B-20) (2 Mike Force)
  • RANK
Staff Sergeant
Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star
South Vietnam 1968
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 Balfour Oliver Lytton, Jr. (ASN: RA-13825510), 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-20, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Staff Sergeant Lytton distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 25 March 1968 as Special Forces platoon leader of a Vietnamese strike force company on combat operations. As the company searched for the enemy in dense jungle around its base camp, the lead platoon came under intense automatic weapons fire from a concealed North Vietnamese Army squad. As the small enemy unit withdrew from contact, it was pursued by two platoons of the friendly force. The two elements were drawn into the savage ambush of a North Vietnamese Army company. Sergeant Lytton, commander of the reserve platoon, quickly deployed his troops in a defensive perimeter and directed devastating fire on the attackers to cover the withdrawal of the beleaguered friendly forces. The enemy launched a fierce rocket and small arms barrage on his perimeter, and his men were forced to withdraw under the intensity of the assault. Completely disregarding his personal safety, Sergeant Lytton remained behind and continued his furious fight to cover the withdrawal of the other platoons. He was wounded by the ravaging enemy fire but refused to pull back. After the forward elements escaped the ambush site under his covering fire, he began a maneuver to join them. Enemy troops had isolated his position, blocking his movement and cutting off all avenues of approach for rescue attempts by members of his company. He was mortally wounded while gallantly and unselfishly placing the lives of fellow soldiers above his own safety in the heat of battle. Staff Sergeant Lytton'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.

Last edited by a moderator: