GREEN BERETS Taapken, Donald E.

John Robertson

Staff member
Donald E.
  • UNIT
6 SF Group (Company C)
  • RANK
Sergeant First Class
Silver Star
North Vietnam 1970 (Son Tay)


Silver Star : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant First Class Donald E. Taapken, United States Army, for gallantry in action on 21 November 1970 as a member of an all-volunteer joint U.S. Army and Air Force raiding force in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed heliborne assault mission to rescue United States military personnel held as prisoners of war at Son Tay prison in North Vietnam. This valiant effort was motivated by deep compassion for his imprisoned fellow men-at-arms, and by a strong sense of military duty and national pride. On arrival in the target area Sergeant Taapken, without regard for his personal safety, exposed himself to continuous hostile enemy fire to move to a position where he could effectively employ his M-79 grenade launcher. This action protected the other members of his platoon while they were involved in house-clearing actions. He repeatedly distinguished himself by highly valorous actions in eliminating enemy resistance during the house-clearing operations. His swift and positive combat actions, together with his courageous execution of his assignment, insured successful completion of the mission without the loss of a single life. Sergeant Taapken's daring skill, extraordinary heroism against an armed hostile force, and extreme devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself and the United States Army.

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