Russel J. Bateman, Jr.
Wall of Valor
Sergeant First Class Russel J. Bateman, Jr.
5th Airborne Battalion
April 13-14, 1971
Sergeant Bateman was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry in action on April 13-14, 1971 while serving as a Light Weapons Advisor to 54 Company. His duties were to hold a night defensive position, but as morning approached, the unit received an intense barrage of mortar, rocket and small arms fire.
When the requested gunships arrived, without regard for his own personal safety, Bateman exposed himself to the hail of fire while marking the enemy positions with smoke. Seizing this moment of fire superiority, he joined the company commander, rallied the paratroopers and led a savage assault on the stunned, but still deadly North Vietnamese Army soldiers. During the battle, he could be seen engaging and striking down the enemy with his pistol at ranges of less than 5 meters.
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