US Presidential Unit Citations
Awarded to Non-US Units
Second Indo-China War (Vietnam)
1st Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The 1st Division (South Vietnam) was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. The HQ company under Ngτ Quang Trưởng with 200 staff and officers with an attached reconnaissance company, of 50 men under the Hac Bao (Black Panthers) commanded by Tran Ngoc "Harry" Hue held out for an entire month in Hue Citadel while completely surrounded during the Battle of Huế. The city was quickly and completely surrounded by several elite battalions of PAVN units on every side but repulsed all attempts at storming the citadel. The defense of Hue Citadel despite overwhelming odds was regarded as the most pivotal moment of the battle, and had significant symbolic value for many in South Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. The commander of the Hac Bao, Tran Ngoc Hue would also be awarded a Silver Star personally by General Creighton Abrams.
Republic of Vietnam Marine Division
The Republic of Vietnam Marine Division was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation in 1972 for the Second Battle of Quảng Trị, recapturing the city after it was over-run by 45,000 PAVN whom are deploying for the first time armored and mechanized divisions. This division was still recovering from Lam Son 719, which saw 1/4th of this entire division killed or wounded. During the battle this unit alone had lost almost 3,658 KIA while inflicting 17,819 enemy casualties, capturing 5,000 weapons and vehicles and disabling dozens of T-54/T-55 tanks. The battle was fought, alongside the Airborne Division arrayed against the three most elite and longest serving divisions of the PAVN, the "Iron and Steel" divisions of the 308th Division, 304th Division and 325th Division. This was the single bloodiest, longest and most intense engagement in the entire war and the most defining urban battle, far surpassing the Battle of Huế in all respects.
1st Armored Brigade, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
A Presidential Unit Citation was awarded by Richard Nixon in 1970 for Operation Duong Son. It was conducted in the Quế Sơn District in 1970 by the newly created 1st Armored Brigade Headquarters, composed of an Armored Cavalry Squadron, a Regional Force Battalion and 2 Regular Battalions. The 1st Armored Brigade conducted its first mobile independent operations along the sea in the northern part of Military Region 1. Controlling up to two armored cavalry regiments, Rangers, and territorial forces, the brigade roamed over the area for two months and succeeded in destroying three enemy battalions. Almost 900 Viet Cong and PAVN were killed or captured, while the brigade lost sixty-eight men.
37th Ranger Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
This unit earned the single most Presidential Unit Citations of any unit in the war, and was the most decorated Ranger Battalion, out of the 11 Battalions in the ARVN Rangers whom had received presidential unit citations. The South Vietnamese Army's 37th Ranger Battalion received no less than three United States Army Presidential Unit Citations. The first was awarded in Department of the Army General Order 20 of 1967, for extraordinary heroism in the vicinity of Thach Tru, Quang Ngai Province on November 22, 1965. This was during a battle in which a much larger regiment of the crack 18th NVA Regiment and VC 45th Heavy Weapons Unit had staged a multi-pronged attack and were repulsed. Reinforcing the unit in the battle was a reinforcement of 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment Marines. The second was awarded in Department of the Army General Order 23 of 1969, for extraordinary heroism in the period of January 27 to February 25, 1968. The third was awarded in Department of the Army General Order 37 of 1973, for extraordinary heroism in the period of February 11 to April 24, 1970.
42nd Ranger Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The 42nd Ranger Battalion was a twice decorated battalion that received Presidential Unit Citation from two different presidents. First decorated in October 1965 with a direct public speech by President Johnson. The Operation involved was a search-and-destroy in which they were on the defensive and attacked by a much larger enemy force. The 42nd Ranger Battalion was commended for over-turning the attacking forces and turning them onto the defensive where they proceeded to rout them.
Afterwards decorated on March 7, 1968 for assaulting a well-defended enemy stronghold. This unit was well-regarded as an assault unit capable of over-running well concealed fortifications and positions. Among the 11 ARVN Ranger Units awarded with the Presidential Unit Citation, the 42nd was among the most highly decoration.
39th Ranger Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The 39th Ranger Battalion was decorated twice with Presidential Unit Citations (United States), awarded for actions between February 18 and 28, 1968 during the Tet Offensive and again for actions between February 11 to April 24, 1970.
The 42nd, 39th and 37th were the most decorated Ranger battalions of the war and one of the chosen forward assault groups during Operation Lam Son 719. After securing an outpost and, when expected reinforcements were halted, the Rangers were in turn entirely encircled by armored and infantry units from the elite 102nd Regiment, 308th Infantry Division (NVA). Fighting its way out of a cordon, the Rangers suffered heavy losses with 178 KIA/MIA and 148 WIA out of an initial 430, although inflicting 639 KIA upon the 102nd Regiment.
52nd Ranger Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
On 11 November 1965, the 52nd Ranger Battalion was augmented to the US 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and conducted an air assault to relief a US element of the 11th ACR. The 11th ACR had been ambushed by the VC 275th Regiment on Route 15 near Kim Hai hamlet, Phuoc Hoa village, Phuoc Tuy Province. The 52nd Ranger Battalion received a United States Presidential Unit Citation for their actions that relieved the 11th ACR.
44th Ranger Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
On April 6, 1965 the 44th Ranger Battalion was a reserve element of a larger force engaged in a search and destroy operation against two Viet Cong force battalions. The Battalion was lifted by helicopter into battle when the lead infantry battalion, accompanied by an armored personnel carrier troop, were halted by intense fire delivered on their positions by the well-entrenched and camouflaged enemy.
Upon entering the landing zone, the enemy delivered withering machine gun fire. Despite the loss of their executive officer, a U.S. Army Advisor, and three helicopters during the lift the Ranger Battalion pursued and over-turned the attacking Viet Cong, forcing them to withdraw and thereby saving the ambushed and pinned forces. For these actions the Battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation.
Second Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Brigade, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Second Battalion of the Republic of Vietnam Marine Division, nicknamed Crazy Buffaloes, was the most decorated Republic of Vietnam Marine Division. A Presidential Unit Citation was earned at the battle of Phung Du in November 1966. This was alongside a previously earned Division level commendation for participation in the Second Battle of Quảng Trị.
D Company, 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Battle of Long Tan
A mortar and recoilless rifle attack on the Task Force area opened Operation Vendetta on the night of August 16/17, 1966.
B Company, of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was initially dispatched to clear the area to the East of the Task Force base. D Company took over from B Company on August 18, 1966. D Company made contact with an enemy force of regimental size and was soon under attack from three sides. The battle was fought into the night under a blanket of mist and heavy monsoonal rain, but D Company held its ground with heroism and grim determination. The remainder of the Battalion deployed to aid the beleaguered Company. With the help of armored personnel carriers of 3 Troop, 1 APC Squadron hit the flank of a battalion size force, which was forming up to assault the rear of D Company, and inflicted many casualties forcing the enemy from the battlefield.
August 18 is now commemorated each year as Long Tan Day, in memory of the Australian soldiers who served in the Vietnam War.
The streamer of the citation, bearing the honor 'Long Tan', is carried on the Regimental Color of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
514th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Republic of Vietnam Air Force
The 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron, a unit of the South Vietnam Air Force, is cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in combat against an armed enemy of the Republic of Vietnam throughout the period 1 January 1964 to 28 February 1965.
Participating in daily actions in support of Republic of Vietnam ground operations, the courageous men of the 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron carried out their attacks on military targets with indomitable spirit and determination. The fierce determination to destroy the enemy displayed by the men of this unit was exemplified in the 6,000 sorties, and 13,000 flying hours compiled in support of ground operations during this period.
2nd Battalion, 31st Regiment 21st Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
This unit earned a Presidential Unit Citation as part of a heli-borne rapid reaction force.
The 2nd Battalion, 31st Regiment of the 21st Division was ordered to rescue a RVN battalion that was trapped in muddy swamps and flanked by Main Force Viet Cong units. With neither artillery, air-strike or armed helicopter support, the unit moved through 600m of rice paddy to assault six machine-gun nests. The unit was able to close-in and route the Viet Cong forces that had pinned down the flanked battalion.
41st Regimental Headquarters, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
A Presidential Unit Citation for the 41st Regimental Headquarters, including the 1st Battalion and 3rd, 41st Regiment, and 3rd Troop, 8th Reconnaissance Squadron for action against one of the more elite units of the NVA, the 18th Regiment, 312th Division. The attack on regimental quarters was halted, and the action was described by US President Lyndon as " in defeating the 7th and 8th Battalions of the 18th North Vietnam Army Regiment, a force equal to its own, ranks as one of the outstanding accomplishments in the Vietnamese conflict and is in the highest traditions of the Free World Forces."
HQ Company of the 3rd Platoon, 5th and the 6th Company of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, ARVN
The HQ Company was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation from Lyndon Johnson. The Citation reads:
"The foregoing units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism during the defense of a Revolutionary Development Program pacification project near Tan Hung, Binh Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 11 July 1967 when they repulsed a full scale attack on their position by the 141st North Vietnamese Army Regiment. This numerically superior enemy force was equipped with numerous automatic weapons, large supplies of ammunition, and new equipment. During the early morning hours, the Republic of Vietnam units were subjected to a heavy volume of mortar fire followed by three separate human wave assaults against the position. In each case, the enemy penetrations of the perimeter were beaten back by fierce counterattacks. The viciousness of the close combat and the effectiveness of the defenders were fully demonstrated when more than 70 enemy bodies were found within the inner fortifications after the battle. Supported by air and artillery, the valiant defenders held their position, accounted for more than 170 North Vietnamese soldiers, and captured over 90 individual and crew served weapons. The determination, devotion to duty, and indomitable courage demonstrated by these men of the 2d Battalion, 9th Regiment, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon themselves, their unit, and the Republic of Vietnam."
74th Tactical Wing, Vietnamese Air Force
The 74th Tactical Wing of the Vietnamese Air Force operating from July 1966 to February 1968 flew over 52,000 sorties with the 520th Fighter Squadron (A-1H), 74th Tactical Wing, flew 17,730 sorties in combat against armed hostile forces. This unit earned a Presidential Unit Citation.
"The officers and airmen of the wing repeatedly performed outstanding acts of heroism and gallantry, both individually and collectively, and demonstrated an esprit de corps in keeping with the highest traditions of the free military Air Forces. The 74th Tactical Wing inflicted severe damage on the hostile forces and, at the same time, saved countless Vietnamese and American lives. Despite their own tragic casualties and heavy battle damage, the men of the wing consistently maintained outstanding morale."
9th Company, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Republic of Korea Army
The 9th Company, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Republic of Korea Army was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation on August 9, 1968, for its valor on August 910, 1966 in the defense of Landing Zone 27 Victor, Pleiku Province, Republic of Vietnam. The citation reads, in part:
"About one hour before midnight the sounds of digging were heard outside the perimeter. The suspicious area was illuminated by a searchlight and reconnoitered by machine-gun fire from one of the United States Army tanks under operational control of the 9th Company. This action triggered the first of a series of violent attacks made against the perimeter by a North Vietnamese Army battalion and reinforced by heavy fire from recoilless rifles, mortars, and rockets. During the next six hours, the foe made repeated assaults from differing directions, only to be beaten back by the coordinated fire from the stalwart defenders. A single enemy managed to penetrate into the position, but this danger was quickly eliminated by a Korean soldier wielding a bayonet. Throughout this long battle the 9th Company held its position and exhibited great gallantry under intense fire and repeated ground attacks. The tenacious defense and subsequent mop-up of the battlefield virtually eliminated the enemy battalion as an effective fighting unit. The heavy losses inflicted upon the numerically superior enemy force attest to the physical courage, determination, and skill of the defenders. ..."
1st Company, Royal Thailand Army Volunteer Regiment and attached units
The 1st Company, Royal Thailand Army Volunteer Regiment and several attached and supporting units a medical platoon, an armored personnel carrier platoon and an artillery battery were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by President Richard Nixon on November 5, 1969, for extraordinary heroism on December 2021, 1967 in Vietnam. According to the citation:
"During this period the 1st Company was given the mission of conducting combat operations and revolutionary development support in Bien Hoa Province. Elements of the Viet Cong 274th Main Force Battalion and the 3d Main Force Battalion attacked the 1st Company on the night of 20 December. This attack was repulsed by the heroic Thai in a battle characterized by savage hand-to-hand combat with devastating effect on the enemy. By the unparalleled application of exceptional imagination, fearless courage, and unrelenting determination, the 1st Company succeeded in repelling three assaults by the superior enemy force. Although harassed by constant mortar fire, the valiant defenders aggressively engaged the enemy and inflicted heavy enemy casualties. Individual acts of heroism were numerous, and during the entire battle the company officers, through their superb leadership, provided an inspirational example to the rest of the company. The Thai victory deprived the enemy of one of its long-established infiltration and resupply routes. The aggressiveness, determination, enthusiasm, and exemplary courage displayed by the members of the 1st Company and its attached and supporting units reflect great credit upon themselves, the Royal Thailand Army, and the Allied cause in the Republic of Vietnam.
3rd Airborne Task Force, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The 3rd Airborne Task Force, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, consisting of the Task Force Headquarters and 2nd and 3rd Vietnamese Airborne Battalions, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for heroism in Operation Kham Jei 180 from November 1522, 1967.
7th Airborne Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The 7th Airborne Battalion, Republic of Vietnam Airborne Division was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for repelling attacks by overwhelming NVA Units in Quang Ngai province on February 19, 1967 . A lack of air support due to weather conditions saw hand-to-hand fighting, in which a larger force attacked from three sides and was repulsed.
8th Airborne Battalion, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The 8th Airborne Battalion, Republic of Vietnam Airborne Division was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for combat action on February 2528, 1967 for moving through 800m of open-rice fields to assault a fortified position. Two days later the same unit was ordered to move through 2000 meters in order to flank another enemy position. Despite heavy casualties, the unit fought the next day and assaulted a machine-gun and mortar position, deploying small-arms, bayonets and hand-grenades to overwhelm enemy positions. This is with the unit having relatively little artillery support throughout the battle, and with other units in disarray.
1st Battalion Group, Royal Australian Regiment, Vietnam, 19651966
Between May 1965 and May 1966, the 1st Battalion Group, Royal Australian Regiment, consisting of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, the 4th/19th Prince of Wales's Light Horse, 105 Field Battery Royal Australian Artillery, 3 Field Troop Royal Australian Engineers, 161st Independent Reconnaissance Flight, and 1st Australian Logistical Support Company served as part of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. During that time, the Brigade was constantly involved in heavy fighting, as it was invariably one of the leading units in the front line. For its service throughout this period, the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and its attachments were awarded the United States Meritorious Unit Commendation.
The streamer of the commendation, bearing the honor 'Vietnam 196566', is carried on the Regimental Colors of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
3d Armored Cavalry Squadron, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
In 1971, the Presidential Unit Citation (US) was awarded to the 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron and attached U.S. Advisor/Liaison Personnel (MACV) for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy during the period January 1, 1968, to September 30, 1968, in Pleiku and Binh Dinh Provinces. The Squadron engaged a Viet Cong battalion near the city of Pleiku during the Tet Offensive. Elements of the Squadron spearheaded direct strikes against the 18th North Vietnamese Army regiment in other major engagements in Binh Dinh Province and the city of Phu My.
On February 1, 1968, they fought a pitched battle with the Liberation Front's H-15 Local Force Battalion in or near Pleiku.
In August 1968, elements of the 3rd ARVN Cavalry, along with a reaction platoon from the 2/1st Cav, OPCONed to the 4th Inf, foiled an attempted NVA ambush, killing 31 enemy. The following day the soldiers found 10 more bodies bringing the toll to 41 enemy killed. In the third day of enemy harassment of convoys along Highway 14 in Kontum Province, an estimated force of two NVA companies attacked a 4th Div convoy 14 miles south of Kontum with mortar, recoilless rifle, small arms, and rocket and machinegun fire. Armored cars from the 4th MP Company immediately returned the fire. At the outbreak of the attack, tanks and armored cavalry assault vehicles of the 3rd ARVN Cavalry and the 2/1st Cav, which had been deployed along the highway in anticipation of possible contact, began to pour heavy fire into the enemy positions. Under the onslaught of allied armor the enemy broke contact, leaving 41 killed behind.
883D Company, Regional Force, Army of the Republic of Vietnam
On 9 March the 883D Company of the South Vietnamese Regional Force earned a Presidential Unit Citation, militia assigned the defense of the village of Ha Tay, with a strength of only 71 men, was attacked by a Viet Cong battalion of vastly superior strength. The 883D Company withstood repeated enemy assaults, all of which were supported by intense mortar and recoilless rifle fire. Through the morning this unit made its gallant stand unaided by outside fire support. The company had sustained over 30 killed in action or seriously wounded and had nearly exhausted its ammunition and grenades. The members of the company were undaunted and proceeded to break out of the cordon. Following a break-out, the unit joined with a larger force and proceed to counterattack the battalion. The counterattack was successful in driving the enemy from the area. The dogged defense of Ha Tay by the 883D Regional Force Company resulted in the death of 221 Viet Cong and the capture of two machine guns.
1st Engineer Battalion
Presidential Unit Citation (United States) for actions between 1 Jan 67 to 25 Feb 68, DAGO 23, 69.
161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery, Vietnam, 19651966
Between May 1965 and June 1966, 161 Battery, 16 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery served as part of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. For its service throughout this period, 161 Battery, RNZA were awarded the United States Meritorious Unit Commendation.[
Personnel who were posted to the unit during the period for which the citation was awarded are entitled to permanently wear the United States Army Meritorious Unit Commendation on the right breast.
Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, 19621969
For the service it provided during the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1969, the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam was awarded the United States Meritorious Unit Commendation. The commendation is indicated by a red streamer bearing the honor 'Vietnam 196269.
No. 2 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Navy in Vietnam
For their service during the Vietnam War, both HMAS Perth and HMAS Hobart of the Royal Australian Navy were awarded commendations. The Perth was awarded both the Navy Unit Commendation and the Meritorious Unit Commendation while the Hobart received the Navy Unit Commendation.
The RAN's Clearance Diving Team 3 was awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation, twice awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for the periods January 1, 1968, to December 31, 1970, whilst part of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit, Pacific (EODMUPAC) and June 1, 1969, to November 25, 1970, as a unit of Inshore Undersea Warfare Group One (IUWG1), and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its work clearing the harbors of Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, and Nha Trang between February 19 and June 30, 1967.