Distinguished Service Cross, 1olc (William Roush), Vietnam
Distinguished Service Cross, with an oak leaf cluster, slot brooch, numbered “11512″, with large machine-engraving “William/Roush”. In a black titled leatherette case.
Major William Roush, 9th Infantry, was cited for “…exceptionally valorous actions on 5 January 1968 while accompanying an infantry company conducting a combat mission near Bo Tuc. The unit had just completed an airmobile assault on a landing zone adjacent to a North Vietnamese Army battalion base camp when the departing helicopters were subjected to intense hostile automatic weapons fire. One of the ships exploded into flames and crashed several hundred meters away, leaving its crew members stranded amid North Vietnamese positions. Savage heavy enemy machine gun fire also erupted on the infiltrated company. Major Roush fearlessly raced into the bullet-swept landing zone to rescue several troops who were pinned down by the raking fusillade. He sprayed the enemy emplacements with deadly carbine fire, killing three North Vietnamese gunners, and proceeded to extract his men from the landing zone. Continually braving a withering hail of bullets, Major Roush made repeated trips across the exposed terrain until he had guided all his troops to cover. He then quickly organized a patrol to rescue the beleaguered crew of the downed helicopter. Daringly leading his team through a maze of occupied North Vietnamese positions, he successfully reached the crash site and maneuvered the group to safety. His gallant and determined actions in the heat of battle saved the lives of many fellow soldiers…”
Major Roush received a second Distinguished Service Cross for: “exceptionally valorous actions on 27 February 1968 as operations officer of an infantry battalion operating near Saigon. While moving along a narrow path between two canals, one platoon of his force was subjected to intense enemy small arms fire from the front and both flanks and several casualties were sustained. Major Roush directed two companies into the area to assist the beleaguered platoon, but they were immediately engaged in separate fire fights. Moving into the enemy fire, he noticed one company commander asking for volunteers to move ahead and provide covering fire for the trapped platoon. Directing the officer to stay in his location and maintain radio contact with the other elements, Major Roush led the volunteers down one of the canals toward the platoon’s position. Unsuccessful in this attempt to join with the trapped element, he returned to the company command post and, with three other volunteers, began crawling into the path of the enemy fire. While trying to reach the platoon’s casualties, his group was detected, and the enemy opened up with brutal small arms fire, mortally wounding Major Roush. His actions, however, had diverted the insurgents’ attention to his own position, allowing the battered platoon to escape the deadly cross fire and find safety. Major Roush’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.
Major Roush was killed in action on 27 February 1968 in the action for which he received his second Distinguished Service Cross. He also held the Silver Star and Legion of Merit.