The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*LAUFFER, BILLY LANE
Rank and organization: Private First
Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division. Place
and date: Near Bon Son in Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 September 1966.
Entered service at: phoenix, Ariz. Born: 20 October 1945, Murray, Ky.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Lauffer's squad, a part of Company C, was suddenly struck at
close range by an intense machinegun crossfire from 2 concealed bunkers astride the
squad's route. Pfc. Lauffer, the second man in the column, saw the lead man fall and noted
that the remainder of the squad was unable to move. Two comrades, previously wounded and
being carried on litters, were Lying helpless in the beaten zone of the enemy fire.
Reacting instinctively, Pfc. Lauffer quickly engaged both bunkers with fire from his
rifle, but when the other squad members attempted to maneuver under his covering fire, the
enemy fusillade increased in volume and thwarted every attempt to move. Seeing this and
his wounded comrades helpless in the open, Pfc. Lauffer rose to his feet and charged the
enemy machinegun positions, firing his weapon and drawing the enemy's attention. Keeping
the enemy confused and off balance, his l-man assault provided the crucial moments for the
wounded point man to crawl to a covered position, the squad to move the exposed litter
patients to safety, and his comrades to gain more advantageous positions. Pfc. Lauffer was
fatally wounded during his selfless act of courage and devotion to his fellow soldiers.
His gallantry at the cost of his life served as an inspiration to his comrades and saved
the lives of an untold number of his companions. His actions are in keeping with the
highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit,
and the U.S. Army.