David C Dolby
David was born on the 14th of May, 1946 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. His father worked in nearby Oaks, Pennsylvania as a personnel manager for B.F. Goodrich Company and David enlisted in the US Army in Philadelphia in 1964. Less than two years later, David was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam and it was his actions with the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1stCavalry Division, that would earn him the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, when his platoon, while advancing tactically, suddenly came under intense fire from the enemy located on a ridge immediately to the front. Six members of the platoon were killed instantly and a number were wounded, including the platoon leader. Sgt. Dolby's every move brought fire from the enemy. However, aware that the platoon leader was critically wounded, and that the platoon was in a precarious situation, Sgt. Dolby moved the wounded men to safety and deployed the remainder of the platoon to engage the enemy. Subsequently, his dying platoon leader ordered Sgt. Dolby to withdraw the forward elements to rejoin the platoon. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire and with utter disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Dolby positioned able-bodied men to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements, assisted the wounded to the new position, and he, alone, attacked enemy positions until his ammunition was expended. Replenishing his ammunition, he returned to the area of most intense action, single-handedly killed 3 enemy machine gunners and neutralized the enemy fire, thus enabling friendly elements on the flank to advance on the enemy redoubt. He defied the enemy fire to personally carry a seriously wounded soldier to safety where he could be treated and, returning to the forward area, he crawled through withering fire to within 50 meters of the enemy bunkers and threw smoke grenades to mark them for air strikes. Although repeatedly under fire at close range from enemy snipers and automatic weapons, Sgt. Dolby directed artillery fire on the enemy and succeeded in silencing several enemy weapons. He remained in his exposed location until his comrades had displaced to more secure positions. His actions of unsurpassed valor during 4 hours of intense combat were a source of inspiration to his entire company, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. Sgt. Dolby's heroism was in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army.
After the battle, David was promoted to sergeant and was presented the Medal of Honor on the 28th of September, 1967, by President Johnson. David went on to deploy to Vietnam four more times: in 1967 with the 101st Airborne Division, 1969 with the 75th Infantry Division, 1970 as an advisor to the Vietnamese Rangers, and 1971 as an advisor to the Royal Cambodian Army. Later that year, David left the Army as a staff sergeant and moved back home to Pennsylvania.
David's wife died in 1987 and he continued to attend many veterans events throughout the US and even had the opportunity to open the New York Stock Exchange. While visiting Spirit Lake, Idaho for a veterans event, David Charles Dolby died in his sleep on the 6th of August, 2010 at the age of 64 and he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery; section 59, plot 498.