VIETNAM - RIGDON, WILLIAM FRANCIS

Rigdon, William Frances Jr

VIETNAM - RIGDON, WILLIAM FRANCIS JR
RIGDON, WILLIAM FRANCIS JR

Rank: Specialist 4

Unit: A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11E – Armor Crewman

Awards: Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device, 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: 11-Dec-1947

Hometown: Manchester, Ohio

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 26-Mar-1968

Start of tour: 7-Dec-1968

Incident date: 6-Jul-1969

Date of casualty: 6-Jul-1969

Age at death: 21

Cause of death: Hostile, died of wounds. Grenade. Multiple fragmentation wounds.
William Francis Rigdon died from wounds received while a crew member of a military vehicle on a combat operation when a hostile force was encountered. He was admitted to a military medical facility and expired shortly thereafter. / Loader on tank on combat operation, engaged hostile force in firefight.  Admitted to 2d Surgical Hospital, Lai Khe, on 6 Apr 1969 at 1650 hrs and placed on Very Serious Injury (VSI) list on 6 Jul 1969 at 1710 hrs and later expired.  Incident occurred on 6 Jul 1969 at 1600 hrs.

Three Blackhorse troopers died in this incident:
SP4 Kurtis Aurel Berry
SGT Larry Howard Johnson
SP4 William Francis Rigdon

Location of fatality: Binh Duong, South Vietnam, XT 580 380

Place of interment: Manchester IOOF Cemetery, Manchester, Ohio, USA

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

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 21W 071 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL

ARMY COMENDATION MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE

SPECIALIST FOUR WILLIAM FRANCIS RIGDON JR
29 MAY 1969
A TROOP, 1st SQUADRON

11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Four Rigdon distinguished himself by heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force on 29 May 1969 while serving as an armored vehicle commander with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date while conducting a reconnaissance-in-force operation, the troop suddenly came under intense enemy small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade fire. As the friendly elements moved into an assault formation, Specialist Rigdon’s heavy machine gun was destroyed by hostile fire. Upon seeing that a nearby vehicle had been disabled by the enemy barrage, he ran across open ground to secure the undamaged machine gun on the vehicle. He then carried the weapon back through the hostile fusillade and joined the assault on the enemy positions. Specialist Four Rigdon’s courage 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.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 2102 (22 August 1969)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE AND OAK LEAF CLUSTER
POSTHUMOUS

SPECIALIST FOUR WILLIAM FRANCIS RIGDON JR
17 APRIL 1969
A TROOP, 1st SQUADRON

11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Four Rigdon distinguished himself by heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force on 17 April 1969 while serving with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date while conducting a reconnaissance-in-force operation, the troop was attacked by a well-concealed enemy force. After his vehicle had been moved on line for an assault of the hostile fortifications, it received a direct hit, disabling the vehicle commander. Immediately, Specialist Rigdon moved his wounded comrade to a safe place and assumed command. Upon spotting two enemy bunkers manned by rocket propelled grenade teams, Specialist Rigdon directed his gunner in placing fire on the emplacements with the main gun of the vehicle and informed the rest of his platoon of the locations of the enemy positions. When he saw a crew member of a nearby vehicle knocked to the ground by an exploding rocket-propelled grenade, Specialist Rigdon ran through the hostile fusillade and moved the casualty to safety. Specialist Four Rigdon’s courage, devotion to duty and concern for the welfare of his fellow soldiers 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. 1933 (7 August 1969)

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