101 airborne combat patch
Perry Lewis
20 July 1968

SP4 Perry A. Lewis was awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action in the Republic of
Vietnam on 20 July 1968. Specialist Lewis distinguished himself while serving as a machine
gunner with the Third Platoon, Company A, 2d Battalion, 501st Infantry, during a combat patrol
in densely vegetated mountains west of Hue, Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Lewis’ platoon was
in the lead position, and, because of the thick vines and dense underbrush, was forced to cut a
trail with machetes in its search of reported North Vietnamese Army base camp. Near the top of a
slope the lead element came under an intense barrage of automatic weapons fire. The two lead
men were shot immediately and, as the rest of the platoon sought cover, several more men were
injured on punji states cleverly placed by the enemy in selected positions. Specialist Lewis was
pinned down by the enemy fire. However, observing two of his comrades wounded, Specialist
Lewis began crawling forward to aid the fallen men. He fire into the thick underbrush where the
enemy was hidden. On several occasions the incoming fire was so intense that Specialist Lewis
was forced to stop and conceal himself behind the sparse ground cover, but never did he try to
return to safety. After several minutes of slow crawling he reached the first wounded man.
Seeing that the man was in desperate need of medical attention, Specialist Lewis, with complete
disregard for his own safety, began crawling and carrying the injured man to safety. The platoon
began to pull back in order to employ helicopter gunships and volunteers were called forward to
remove equipment from the front. Specialist Lewis volunteered and began the long crawl toward
the forward area. An enemy machine gun was moved to within thirty meters of his position and
subjected him and the friendly positions to steady fire. Specialist Lewis and one other man
crawled through the heavy fire and destroyed the enemy position before retrieving the platoon’s
equipment, which contained valuable ammunition and Claymore mines. Specialist Lewis’ personal
bravery 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.