Episode 2706 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Vet Army Spec 5 Dwight W. Birdwell and his Congressional Medal of Honor award. The featured story comes from The U.S. Department of Defense website and was titled: Medal of Honor Monday: Army Spec. 5 Dwight W. Birdwell. It was submitted by Katie Lange, a writer for DOD News.
Lange in her story reported that according to DoD documents, Army Spec. 5 Dwight W. Birdwell was one of the first U.S. soldiers to engage with the enemy during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. He wasn’t in charge of his unit, but when soldiers fell, he stepped forward to fill the leadership gap. The Silver Star he earned for his bravery was recently upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
Lange also reported that Birdwell was born on Jan. 19, 1948, in Amarillo, Texas, but he grew up in the small town of Bell, Oklahoma, a mostly Native American community. Birdwell, who is Cherokee, said he learned to fish and hunt from his father— skills that likely helped him survive in Vietnam.
Birdwell graduated from Stilwell High School in 1966 and joined the Army shortly thereafter. He received training at the Armored School in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and was sent to Korea, according to the Stilwell Democratic Journal. According to the newspaper, after coming home on leave in September 1967, Birdwell was reassigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Division, which was already in Vietnam. Birdwell was eventually reassigned to the 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
The 20-year-old was near Saigon in South Vietnam when the Tet Offensive began in late January 1968. He was assigned to Troop C of the regiment’s 3rd Squadron.
Listen to episode 2706 and discover more about Vietnam Vet Army Spec 5 Dwight W. Birdwell and his Congressional Medal of Honor award.