Distinguished Service Cross
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Specialist Fourth Class Richard Parrish, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Battery A, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery, United States Army Military Forces, MR2.
Specialist Four Parrish distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period from 16 to 18 March 1971 while serving as an artillery forward observer with 3d Troop, 3d ARVN Cavalry Squadron, while the Vietnamese force was attempting to break through NVA forces surrounding besieged Fire Support Base T. C. Miller in Pleiku Province. Throughout the action, Specialist Parrish remained with the lead elements of the ARVN unit, calling in fire support from U.S. howitzers located at Landing Zone T. C. Miller and Landing Zone Lonely. The ARVN forces made four assaults on a banana grove occupied by hostile forces in spite of heavy enemy fire at close range. Specialist Parrish disregarded his own safety in order to call in repeated artillery and air strikes along with gunship support and medevac helicopters.
His actions in placing supporting fire enabled the ARVNs to maintain the initiative in the battle. During the fourth assault the ARVN force became caught in a withering volume of fire from 75mm recoiless rifes, B-40 rockets, mortars and automatic weapons. Even when five of the 11 armored personnel carriers were knowcked out by hostile fire. Specialist Parrish remained with the command vehicle in order to direct highly effective fire against the enemy positions. As casualties mounted, he requested medevac helicopter assistance alternately calling in artillery support, napalm and high-explosive bombs within 200 meters of his position.
He left his position several times to help load the wounded personnel aboard medevac helicopters and at one point exposed himself to intense enemy fire tocarry a wounded ARVN lieutenant to a medevac aircraft. Even after sustaining leg and chest wounds, he continued to direct air and artillery support until he was evacuated.
Specialist Four Parrish's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters U.S. Army, Vietnam. General Orders No. 2847
(October 5, 1971).