THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
HENRY F. BECK, UNITED STATES ARMY
EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN ACTION
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Specialist Fourth Class Henry F. Beck, Jr., United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving as assistant recon team leader with Hawk-14, 2d Battalion, 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. On 25 February 1967 Specialist Four Beck’s team came under heavy enemy small arms fire as they dismounted their helicopter. After the team assembled and began to move to cover, Specialist Four Beck observed a partially concealed two-man sniper team twenty meters away. To protect his team, Specialist Four Beck exposed himself to enemy fire to throw a smoke grenade and call for suppressive fire while he ran across the open terrain to the spider hole. He then eliminated the sniper team with rifle fire and hand grenades. Upon returning to his team, he noticed an enemy machine gun crew firing upon them. Again without regard to his personal safety and at extreme personal risk, Specialist Four Beck turned and charged the gun position alone and succeeded in killing the surprised five-man gun crew. Specialist Four Beck threw hand grenades into the enemy positions, and then called in air strikes to destroy the Viet-Cong complex. Through his courage and personal engagement with the enemy, Specialist Four Beck prevented the remainder of his patrol from being overrun and directly prevented the loss of American lives. Specialist Four Beck’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 101st Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
Served three tours in Vietnam… Also awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart… When he retired as a Master Sergeant in 1985, he was a Special Forces Team Sergeant… His Team Leader was Mark Milley, who would become Chief of Staff and decorated Beck with the DSC in 2017 – 50 years after the battle