VIETNAM - DARDEN, OTIS JAMES

Darden, Otis James

VIETNAM - DARDEN, OTIS JAMES
DARDEN, OTIS JAMES

Rank: Specialist 4

Unit: Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11B – Infantryman

Awards: Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with Valor and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge

Unit awards: Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Enlisted by: Selected Service

Date of birth: 3-Feb-1948

Hometown: Berkeley, California

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 3-Jan-1968

Start of tour: 20-Nov-1968

Incident date: 3-Feb-1969

Date of casualty: 3-Feb-1969

Age at death: 21

Cause of death: Hostile, died of wounds. Small Arms Fire. Gun or small arms fire.
Otis James Darden died from wound received while on a combat operation when hit by hostile small arms fire. Individual was admitted to a military facility and later expired.

Location of fatality: Binh Duong, South Vietnam

Place of interment: Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito, California, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 33W 047 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE AND OAK LEAF CLUSTER
POSTHUMOUS

SPECIALIST FOUR OTIS JAMES DARDEN
30 JANUARY 1969
AIR CAVALRY TROOP
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Four Darden distinguished himself by heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force on 30 January 1969 while serving as a member of the Aero Rifle Platoon of the Air Cavalry Troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date in the vicinity of Bien Hoa, Specialist Darden was a member of a reaction force which was called upon to suppress and destroy an enemy position which had been directing anti-aircraft fire at a number of the unit’s aircraft. Reaching the area of the engagement, hostile forces were concealed in a well-fortified trench line. Displaying a complete disregard for personal safety, Specialist Darden assaulted the enemy position. Engaging one enemy soldier with his personal weapon, he killed him instantly and then proceeded along the trench line to encounter another enemy soldier concealed in a spider hole. Reacting instantly, he threw a hand grenade into the enemy’s position, killing him. He continued with his search of the area until he captured the anti-aircraft machine gun which had menaced the unit’s aircraft. Specialist Four Darden’s dedication to duty, complete disregard of personal safety and professional ability were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 588 (10 March 1969)

 

SILVER STAR

SILVER STAR
POSTHUMOUS

SPECIALIST FOUR OTIS JAMES DARDEN
3 FEBRUARY 1969
AIR CAVALRY TROOP
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Four Darden distinguished himself for gallantry in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force on 3 February 1969 while serving with the Aero Rifle Platoon of the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Specialist Darden was serving as the point man of a reconnaissance patrol which had located and begun searching a well-concealed and heavily-fortified enemy base camp. Suddenly, while going through a system of communist bunkers, the patrol came under an intense barrage of enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force. Realizing that his comrades were outnumbered, Specialist Darden directed them to withdraw from the base camp and call for air strikes and reinforcements. Displaying a complete disregard for his personal safety, he assumed a completely exposed position in order to adequately cover the withdrawal of his comrades. He remained fully exposed to enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire while directing accurate fire upon the hostile forces, pinning them down. During this courageous stand he was fatally wounded. Specialist Darden’s gallant actions undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades and resulted in the destruction of the enemy base camp, fifteen enemy killed and six prisoners captured. Specialist Four Darden’s dedication to duty, disregard of personal safety and deep concern for the lives of his comrades were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam, General Orders No. 459 (February 18, 1969

 

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