VIETNAM - RODGERS, BILLY GENE

Rodgers, Billy Gene

VIETNAM - RODGERS, BILLY GENE
RODGERS, BILLY GENE

Rank: Private First Class

Unit: K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11B – Infantryman

Awards: Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge

Unit awards: Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Enlisted by: Selected Service

Date of birth: 25-Dec-1946

Hometown: Alex, Oklahoma

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 2-May-1966

Start of tour: 10-Jan-1967

Incident date: 21-Jul-1967

Date of casualty: 21-Jul-1967

Age at death: 20

Cause of death: Hostile, died. Grenade. Multiple fragmentation wounds.
Billy Gene Rodgers died as a result of a metal fragment would while a passenger in a military convoy.

Fourteen Blackhorse troopers died in this incident:
CPT William Forman Abernethy
PFC James Francis Bean
PFC John Joseph Campa
PFC Roosevelt C. Curley
SP4 Lawrence Michael Dawson
PFC George Arthur Foster
PVT Thomas Francis Ganion
PFC Douglas Wayne Hill
PFC Frank Daniel Leal
PFC Gary Alfred McLennan
PFC Billy Gene Rodgers
SP4 Richard James Schutz
1LT Ponder Ray Sims
PFC James Lemar Whitfield

Location of fatality: Long Khanh, South Vietnam, YT 430 308

Place of interment: Fairlawn Cemetery, Chickasha, Oklahoma, USA

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

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 23E 104 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE
POSTHUMOUS

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS BILLY GENE RODGERS
21 JULY 1967
K TROOP, 3rd SQUADRON

11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Private First Class Rodgers distinguished himself by valorous actions on 21 July 1967, while serving as a machine gunner called upon to repel an estimated reinforced battalion of Viet Cong that had engaged a friendly convoy along Highway 20. As the reaction force penetrated the heavy concentration of RPG4 rockets, recoilless rifles, automatic weapons and small arms fire, Private Rodgers directed a devastating barrage of highly accurate machine gun fire upon the enemy positions. At that moment, his vehicle received-extremely intense hostile fire that critically injured Private Rodgers as well as the Troop Commander. Observing that the commander was in extreme danger of dying, Private Rodgers fearlessly placed himself in a position whereby the severely injured officer was sheltered from further injury. Although in full view of the fanatical insurgents, Private Rodgers staunchly refused to leave his post and continued to suppress all forward enemy movement. As Private Rodgers gallantly shielded the wounded man and doggedly remained exposed, an RPG-2 rocket round pierced the vehicle and mortally wounded him. His indomitable courage, determination, and deep concern, for the welfare of his injured commander at the cost of his own life were instrumental in repelling the numerically superior enemy force. Private First Class Rodgers’ personal bravery 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, 9th Infantry Division General Orders No. 3851 (4 August 1967)

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