Okamoto: US Army, Distinguished Service Cross, Vietnam War

Judge Vincent Okamoto courtesy of American Veterans Center

Editor’s note: This Veterans Day Voice of OC is publishing the most recent plaques on display at Heroes Hall honoring some of Orange County’s most decorated veterans. Vincent Okamoto was born in the Poston Relocation Camp in Arizona on November 22, 1943.

2ND LT Vincent Okamoto

Citation: Distinguished Service Cross

War: Vietnam

 

Second Lieutenant Vincent Okamoto, Infantry, U.S. Army. For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. While serving as a Platoon Leader with an infantry unit near Dau Tieng on August 24, 1968, a ground attack was launched against 2nd LT Okamoto ‘s battalion’s night location by three reinforced North Vietnamese and Vietcong companies. The initial assault destroyed a strategic section of the perimeter. Under heavy automatic weapons, small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, second lieutenant 2nd LT Okamoto moved with five of his men to restore this vital position. Realizing the need for supporting fire, he ran to a partially destroyed armored personnel carrier and manned its machine gun. After the weapon malfunctioned, he dashed through the fusillade of enemy fire to a second and then third carrier to place suppressing fire on the aggressors. Spying a group of enemy soldiers maneuvering towards the unit’s lines, 2nd LT Okamoto crawled under the cover of small arms and automatic weapons fire to lesson 10 meters from the Communist and destroyed them with fragmentation grenades. He was injured by a hostile concussion grenade, but refusing aid he kept fighting until the North Vietnamese/Vietcong Force was defeated. 2nd LT Okamoto’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty and exemplify the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the U.S. Army.

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