On March 9-12, 1966, Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins was fighting in Vietnam with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, as an Intelligence Sergeant at Camp "A Shau."
Defending the Camp
The North Vietnamese attacked Camp A Shau on the morning of March 9th. Then Sergeant First Class Adkins ran through the enemy fire to his position, firing a mortar.
Adkins found out there were injured soldiers close by and had another soldier take over while he helped. Then, he carried the wounded through sniper fire to safety in the camp dispensary.
Once again, Adkins was under fire as he moved the injured to the evacuation area on the airstrip. The Civilian Irregular Defense Group, fighting with the North Vietnamese, fired upon Adkins and his group.
Adkins was able to move out of the camp and evacuate an American with serious injuries. He drew enemy fire away from the aircraft for a successful rescue. He also went out there to retrieve supplies from an airdrop.
Leaving The Jungle
On March 10th, Adkins was the only one firing mortar rounds at the attacking enemy, and he soon ran out. He transitioned to rifle fire and was wounded as the enemy forces continued to fire on him.
He and a group of soldiers were able to get to a communications bunker, where they were able to regroup. After that, Adkins was able to take out many of the incoming enemy fighters on his own.
Soon after, the camp was under an evacuation order. Adkins and his group were able to destroy all the signal equipment and the classified documents before getting out.
Since he took time to save the wounded, Adkins and his group missed the last helicopter. They went into the jungle and avoided the North Vietnamese and a tiger until another helicopter came on March 12th.
During the 38-hour fight and 48 hours in the jungle, it's estimated that he killed between 135-175 enemy soldiers while being wounded 18 times. He was given the Medal of Honor 48 years later at the White House by President Barack Obama.