John B. Beckett
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces.
Place and date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 April 1970.
Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y.
Born: 12 October 1951, Nevada, Iowa
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Beckett, medical aidman, Detachment B-24, Company B, distinguished himself during the defense of Camp Dak Seang. The allied defenders suffered a number of casualties as a result of an intense, devastating attack launched by the enemy from well-concealed positions surrounding the camp. Sgt. Beckett, with complete disregard for his personal safety, moved unhesitatingly through the withering enemy fire to his fallen comrades, applied first aid to their wounds and assisted them to the medical aid station. When informed that a seriously injured American officer was lying in an exposed position, Sgt. Beckett ran immediately through the hail of fire. Although he was wounded seriously by fragments from an exploding enemy mortar shell, Sgt. Beckett carried the officer to a medical aid station. Ignoring his own serious injuries, Sgt. Beckett left the relative safety of the medical bunker to search for and evacuate other men who had been injured. He was again wounded as he dragged a critically injured Vietnamese soldier to the medical bunker while simultaneously applying mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to sustain his life. Sgt. Beckett again refused treatment and continued his search for other casualties until he collapsed. Only then did he permit himself to be treated. Sgt. Beckett’s complete devotion to the welfare of his comrades, at the risk of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
John B. Beckett