NOVEMBER 20, 1968

CHEROKEE BILLY WALKABOUT EARNS FOUR DECORATIONS IN ACTION IN VIETNAM

Born in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, March 31, 1949, Walkabout was of the Blue Holley Clan.  On November 20, 1968, Sergeant Walkabout and 12 other Army Rangers went on an assassination mission southwest of Hue.  Brought under heavy fire, Walkabout’s actions earned him a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Purple Heart.  The DSC citation read:  “Stunned and wounded . . . [he] rushed from man to man administering first aid, bandaging one soldier’s severe chest wound and reviving another soldier by heart massage . . . Only when the casualties had been evacuated . . . did he allow himself to be evacuated.”  Walkabout retired as a second lieutenant.  Suffering physical and mental injuries, he suffered failed marriages, suicidal ideations, and self-isolation.  He also suffered from exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange.  Thought to be the most decorated Native American soldier of the Vietnam War, Walkabout died March 7, 2007, in Montville, Connecticut.

Source:  “Billy Walkabout, decorated American Indian veteran, dies at 57,” USA Today, 3/11/2007.  Retrieved 7/19/2019,  https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-11-walkabout_N.htm
Photo:  U.S. Army.  Public Domain.  Photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

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