SFC LOUIS R. ROCCO
Advisory Team 162
U.S. Military Assistance Command
Northeast of Katum, RVN
24 May 1970
SFC Rocco volunteered to accompany a medical evacuation team on an urgent mission to evacuate 8 critically wounded ARVN personnel.
As the Dust-Off Bird approached, intense enemy automatic weapons fire greeted them like dragon’s breath. Continual hits on the aircraft forced the pilots to crash land, SFC Rocco sustained a broken wrist, fractured hip and back injuries.
Ignoring his pain, Rocco extracted the survivors from the burning wreckage…
In the process he sustained serious burns to his hands yet in spite of the pain and intense enemy fire, SFC Rocco carried the unconscious men across 20 meters of exposed terrain to medical aid.
His severely burned hands and broken wrist caused excruciating pain, but the lives of his brothers were more important than his own, and he continued his rescue efforts.
Once all the casualties were recovered, SFC Rocco administer first aid to the wounded right up until the moment he succumbed to blood loss. He was evacuated, survived and later became a Physician’s assistant Retiring as a Warrant Officer.
The last lines of CW2 Rocco’s Medal of Honor citation read as follows:
“His bravery under fire and intense devotion to duty were directly responsible for saving 3 of his fellow soldiers from certain death. His unparalleled bravery in the face of enemy fire, his complete disregard for his own pain and injuries, and his performance were far above and beyond the call of duty and were in keeping with the highest traditions of self-sacrifice and courage of the military service.”