By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded 


Thomas K. Hightower


Rank and Organization:   Captain Infantry, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

Date and Place:  14 February 1967,  Republic of Vietnam

Reason:  For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam:  Captain Hightower distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 14 February 1967 whiles serving as a company commander with elements of the 12th Cavalry during a battle with an entrenched enemy force at An Qui.  After being called upon to link up with a besieged friendly platoon, he ordered his company on a rapid march to the point of contact.  Employing smoke to screen his movement, Captain Hightower personally led a rescue team across the bullet-swept rice paddy to the endangered soldiers.  Calmly encouraging those who were able to make their way to safety, he supervised the evacuation of the critical casualties and dead.  The, hoping to relieve another encircled element, Captain Hightower dauntlessly led two platoons under cover of darkness against the enemy positions.  As the force advanced along a trenchline, it suddenly received intense hostile machine gun fire, which killed one man an wounded seven others.  Contemptuous of the extreme dangers, Captain Hightower rallied his men and charged forward in an assault that silenced the insurgent emplacement.  Crawling on to within a meter of another enemy position, he fearlessly dropped two grenades into the trench and killed three Viet Cong.  Inspired by his courageous actions, the two platoons swept through the hostile lines and captured many insurgent weapons and valuable equipment.  Captain Hightower'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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