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Thomas D. Bouchard


Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Private First Class Thomas D. Bouchard (ASN: RA-11482630), 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 Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Private First Class Bouchard distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 December 1967 while serving as a rifleman during combat operations near the village of Dai Dong. Upon hearing that his former company was involved in a fierce firefight with a battalion of North Vietnamese. Private Bouchard left the security of the headquarters area where he was assigned as a cook, boarded a helicopter and flew to the battle site. He joined the unit as it began an assault on heavily fortified enemy positions. In the first minutes of the attack, one of the company's armored personnel carriers was hit and the entire crew was wounded. Private Bouchard fearlessly raced twenty meters through an intense hail of bullets to the stricken vehicle. Still exposed to withering enemy fire, he placed all casualties in the area aboard the armored personnel carrier, mounted the vehicle, and took the controls. He then drove the vehicle to safety, plowing through the North Vietnamese machine gun bunker and killing its occupants as he went. A second assault was unleashed, and Private Bouchard braved savage hostile fire to personally charge several fortified enemy bunkers and destroy them with rifle fire and hand grenades. While assaulting one of the emplacements, he came face to face with three North Vietnamese and killed them at point blank range with bursts from his weapon. His dauntless courage in close combat accounted for twenty enemy dead and inspired his fellow soldiers to achieve and overwhelming victory. Private First Class Bouchard'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.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 954 (March 1, 1968)

Action Date: 7-Dec-67

Service: Army

Rank: Private First Class

Company: Headquarters and Headquarters Company

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 8th Cavalry Regiment

Division: 1st Cavalry Division