A Note from The Virtual Wall
US Army, Vietnam
APO San Francisco
4 May 1970
AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.
John K. Kauhaihao First Lieutenant Infantry
Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
||Distinguished Service Cross|
||5 September 1969|
||Republic of Vietnam|
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. First Lieutenant Kauhaihao distinguished himself during a reconnaissance-in-force operation in Tay Ninh Province. He was leading his platoon over thick jungle terrain at the point of their company when they were fired upon by a battalion-size force of North Vietnamese regulars occupying bunker fortifications. Lieutenant Kauhaihao quickly directed his men to cover behind several large, bamboo covered dirt mounds. As the rest of the company moved up to lend supporting fire to the pinned down point element, they were caught in a crossfire from flanking enemy bunkers. Seizing upon a momentary lull in the exchange of fire, Lieutenant Kauhaihao then hacked an opening through the bamboo growing over the dirt mound behind which he took cover. In the next fifteen minutes, he hurled more than thirty hand grenades through this opening at the enemy bunkers. In so doing, Lieutenant Kauhaihao drew enemy fire on himself again and again so that his men could sight enemy gunners and bring them under suppressive fire. Lieutenant Kauhaihao then directed the withdrawal of his battered point element. Crawling over a hundred meters of fire-swept terrain, he dragged vital equipment to the rear and helped wounded soldiers to a position of safety. While rejoining his men to the company's main force, Lieutenant Kauhaihao sighted an enemy squad moving up on his tattered platoon. As he advanced to engage the approaching enemy, Lieutenant Kauhaihao was mortally wounded by enemy fire. First Lieutenant Kauhaihao'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.
By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.
Five men from B Company, 2nd Bn, 8th Cavalry died in the engagement described in 1LT Kauhaihao's Citation:
A sixth, SP4 Jackie L. Goodnight, Martinsville, IN, assigned to HQ Company 2/8, is believed to have been killed in the same engagement.
- 1LT John K. Kauhaihao, Honaunau, HI (Dist Svc Cross);
- SGT Dennis R. Wartchow, Jackson, WY;
- SP4 Richard R. Hughes, Denton, TX;
- SP4 Johnny D. Swann, Atlanta, GA (Dist Svc Cross); and
- PFC Carl G. Beck, Pottstown, PA.