View Full Version : MSG. Roy P. Benavidez

02-01-2004, 15:57
Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant
Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam.
Place and Date: West of Loc Ninh on 2 May 1968.
Entered Service at:Houston, Texas June 1955.
Date and Place of Birth: 5 August 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas.
Date and Place of Death: 29 November 1998, San Antonio, TX


Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1stSpecial Forces, Republic of Vietnam.

On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence informationabout confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled androutinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period oftime on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requestedemergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but wereunable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire.

Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoringthe operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load woundedcrewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarilyboarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt.

Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unableto move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearingwhere he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior toreaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, andhead. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning theteam members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of anextraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. Hethen threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position.

Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried anddragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He thenprovided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved topick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, hehurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead teamleader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severelywounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in hisback. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded,and his helicopter crashed.

Although in extremely critical condition due tohis multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documentsand made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out ofthe overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into adefensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenadefire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition tohis weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight.

Facing abuildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidezmustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directedthe fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and sopermit another extraction attempt.

He was wounded again in his thigh bysmall arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member justbefore another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitablespirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft.

Onhis second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds tohis head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued underdevastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching theaircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing thecraft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firingupon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to theperimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected ordestroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded.

Only then, in extremelyserious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allowhimself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft.

Sergeant Benavidez'gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in criticalstraits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and hisrefusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of atleast eight men.

His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion toduty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds werein keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflectthe utmost credit on him and the United States Army.

The Reaper
02-01-2004, 17:04

Your sacrifices live on.



02-03-2004, 11:41
I was fortunate to meet MSG Benavidez before he passed away.

Blue Skies, MSG.

02-03-2004, 12:10
I never met the man although I should have, as our paths crossed often enough, and we had mutual friends:

Blue skies:

Rest In Peace:


02-03-2004, 12:13
I heard him speak and met him. The Man.

02-03-2004, 13:50
He was the Best Man at my wedding in 1991 in Roswell, NM.

Jennifer Martinez sends

02-17-2004, 16:26
I met him and thought he was a great man.



07-13-2004, 15:53
When i went through PLDC at Bragg in 1998 we spent a day talking about MSG. Roy P. Benavidez, I was completly in aw of his actions and to this day i tell other NCOs to read about what he did. And hope to be half the man he was.

07-30-2004, 02:12

We meet again on 'nuther Forum.

Good job here, girl.

Thanx mucho.

1-2, RT California

01-22-2005, 21:30
Two of the best, ever!!!!!!!!!!

01-23-2005, 10:14
He was a great man.

I meet Roy many yrs ago in El Campo, Tx. My Uncles family was very good frineds with his family.

God rest his soul.


02-11-2005, 08:07
A ditty about the USNS Benavidez!!!



02-11-2005, 08:57

07-24-2005, 01:13
Here's a rare, larger pic of MSG Benavidez, who was a regular at our
Soldier of the Year dinners. A true hero.

(pic from C312.com)

07-27-2005, 05:41
Proud to say I met him at Bragg where he spoke for us. That man lived with a lot of physical pain from his war wounds.

Well done MSG!




08-04-2005, 21:49
This Sat. I am giving my Bncoc military breifing on MSG. Roy P. Benavidez and how he embodied the Army Values. I only hope I can do justice to such a great man.

08-06-2005, 15:27
Don't forget to tell them about Roger Waggie. He was the helicopter pilot who pulled Roy from that very hot LZ. Roger was SF before he went to flight school. His picture is on page 108 of Roy's book.

08-07-2005, 09:24
Well I wasnt able to do my briefing couldnt get it down to 4-8 min requirement but I think ill get it worked into a NCOPD class one day down the road.

09-25-2009, 13:55
My uncle was a personal friend and served with him in the 187th ARCT in Korea

09-25-2009, 21:06
Well I wasnt able to do my briefing couldnt get it down to 4-8 min requirement but I think ill get it worked into a NCOPD class one day down the road.

You can't do a briefing in 4-8 min.

You can make a point, do an "elevator pitch" but a good briefing in 4 min??


wet dog
10-02-2009, 18:33
One Saturday afternoon, I was errand boy for the BN Staff Duty NCO, a job that was often given to a REP 63 18E waiting AIMC to start.

Before the day was over, I poured coffee for LTC James N. Rowe, Maj. Robert Howard, and MSG (RET) Roy Benavidez. The three were sitting in Rowe's office.

The next day, Sunday, Howard rucks out to Camp KcKall, (25 miles) only to do PT with Phase I students. MSG Benavidaz visited the 18D Phase II students for most of the week.

For several days, you could see them at the DFAC, always aproachable.

It's a sweet memory of the QC days.

10-02-2009, 23:07
RIP MSG, and Thank You for your Service!

09-21-2013, 00:48
RIP MSG, and Thank You for your Service!

I was in Hawaii in 1996 and had the Honor to hear this great warrior speak and also spend some time with him. The attached file is a picture of the citation he was given.

Que Dios lo tenga en Su Gloria!