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BRUCE RAYMOND BAXTER


is honored on Panel 29E, Line 47 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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REMEMBRANCES

  • Distinguished Service Cross Citation

    Posted on 11/9/18 - by A Grateful Vietnam Veteran
    Bruce Raymond Baxter

    Distinguished Service Cross
    AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
    DURING Vietnam War
    Service: Army
    Rank: Master Sergeant
    Division: 1st Special Forces
    GENERAL ORDERS:
    Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 6569 (December 22, 1967)
    CITATION:
    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Master Sergeant Bruce Raymond Baxter (ASN: RA-21289734), 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 Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Master Sergeant Baxter distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 8 November 1967 while serving as Special Forces advisor to a Vietnamese reconnaissance team on combat operations deep in hostile territory. While moving through dense jungle shortly before nightfall, his team detected an enemy ambush to the front. Sergeant Baxter quickly directed the fire of his men on the hostile forces, disrupting the planned attack. He was seriously wounded by a barrage of enemy grenades during the firefight that followed, but he refused aid and directed his men to a landing zone for extraction. Savage fire raked the helicopters as they made their landing. Sergeant Baxter refused to be immediately evacuated, and directed half of his team to board the first aircraft while he remained on the ground. The second aircraft was downed after being driven off by the ravaging barrage, and he completely disregarded his own safety in an attempt to reach the crash site under a hail of bullets. The withering fire drove him back, and he requested a hoist extraction for the rest of his men. When the aircraft came in, he placed three of his men aboard before the ship was forced to take off under intense ground fire. A fourth helicopter elected to land despite the heavy barrage, and Sergeant Baxter climbed in only after he was sure that the rest of his team were aboard. He was mortally wounded when the helicopter was shot down in an attempt to fly out of the area. His gallant leadership and devotion to the safety of his men at great risk to his own welfare were responsible for saving several lives in the face of grave danger. Master Sergeant Baxter's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
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  • Remembered

    Posted on 12/27/16 - by Lucy Conte Micik bennysgift@gmail.com
    DEAR MASTER SERGEANT BAXTER,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS A SPECIAL FORCES QUALIFIED INFANTRY OPERATIONS & INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST. YOU ARE STILL MIA. PLEASE COME HOME. WE NEED YOU. CHRISTMAS IS HERE.AND WE ARE THANKFUL FOR YOU. THE NEW YEAR IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, WHICH MAKES IT FAR TOO LONG FOR YOU TO HAVE BEEN GONE. WATCH OVER THE U.S.A., IT STILL NEEDS YOUR COURAGE.. GOD BLESS YOU. MAY THE SAINTS AND ANGELS BE AT YOUR SIDE. REST IN PEACE.
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  • MIA/POW bracelet

    Posted on 12/15/15 - by Kim Bowie Sterrett RN mightymousemc3@yahoo.com
    I have worn MSgt Baxter's bracelet since 1990. I obtained it from SSgt Dudley Farquhar, also a Vietnam Vet. The red color of the bracelet has long faded but not my intention to keep his memory alive. This is the first time I have seen a picture of him. So heartbreaking. R.I.P.
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  • Remembering an American Hero

    Posted on 1/15/13 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net

    Dear MSGT Bruce Raymond Baxter, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for the ultimate sacrifice that you made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. And please know that men and women like you have stepped forward to defend our country yet again, showing the same love for country and their fellow Americans that you did- you would be proud.

    With respect, and the best salute that a civilian can muster for you.

    Curt Carter

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  • Final Mission of U.S. Air Force helicopter HH-3E tail number 66-13279

    Posted on 1/5/13 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org

    On November 8, 1967, two Air Force 'Jolly Greens' (#26 and #29) from the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron were scrambled from Da Nang Air Base at 1505 hours for an emergency extraction of five surviving members of a Special Forces reconnaissance team which had suffered heavy casualties while operating deep in a denied area in Laos. The recovery effort was to be recorded by the Squadron as one of the largest and most hazardous on record. The two Air Force helicopters were advised by forward air control to hold while three Army UH1B gunships softened the area with rockets and machine gun fire. An Air Force C130 gunship, meanwhile, provided flare support for the mission. At 1630Z, Jolly Green 29 picked up the three indigenous personnel before being driven off by hostile fire. Damaged, Jolly Green 29 left and made an emergency landing at Khe Sanh. Twenty minutes later, Jolly Green 26, flown by CAPT Gerald O. Young, with flight crew consisting of co-pilot CAPT Ralph W. Brower, flight engineer SSGT Eugene L. Clay, and rescue specialist SGT Larry W. Maysey braved the ground fire to pick up Special Forces SP4 Joseph G. Kusick and MSGT Bruce R. Baxter, both wounded. The helicopter was hit by automatic weapons fire, crashed and burst into flames. By the afternoon of November 9, a recovery team was inserted into the area and reached the crash site of the burned HH3. Because of fading light, it was impossible to inspect the wreckage at that time. On 10 November, the wreckage was searched and 3 charred remains were found. Two of the remains had identification tags which identified them as members of the crew. The third remains had no tags, but were identified as SP4 Kusick, radio operator of the reconnaissance team, as the long antenna from his PRC-25 radio was found on his body. CAPT Young had survived and was rescued 17 hours after the crash of the aircraft. About 34 meters downhill from the wreckage, another set of remains were found which were readily identified as MSGT Baxter from the facial features. No trace was found of the third crew member. The remains of the two crewmen and Kusick were removed from the aircraft and placed with MSGT Baxter's remains so they could be hoisted as one lift into a hovering helicopter. The identificaton tags of the crewmembers were placed with the remains. Weather conditions and enemy action would not permit helicopters to make the extraction either that day or the day following. [Taken from vhpa.org]

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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.