Drake, Steven Cole, 1LT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1967-1968, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
Service Years
1966 - 1968


First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Kirkwood, MO
Last Address
Kirkwood, MO

Casualty Date
Jan 06, 1968
Hostile, Died while Missing
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Quang Tin (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Oak Hill Cemetery - Kirkwood, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
33E 056

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
  1967-1968, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry
  1967-1968, HHC, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light)
  1967-1968, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting



General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 50 (September 26, 1968)

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Steven Cole Drake (0-5334054), First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while leading the 3d Platoon, Company C, 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry, against a vastly superior enemy force near Hiep Duc, Republic of Vietnam, on 5 and 6 January 1968. On the morning of 5 January 1968, his platoon became engaged in heavy combat with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. Lieutenant Drake immediately organized a five-man fire team and courageously maneuvered this element into a supporting position near an enemy fortification. With complete and utter disregard for his own life, he left the cover of the base of fire, fearlessly charged the enemy fortified bunker, and destroyed an enemy machine gun and its crew. This daring action enabled his company to drive off the enemy. Late in the evening of the same day, the enemy launched a savage attack with overwhelming force. The first round fired by the enemy seriously wounded the company commander, who was evacuated immediately. Lieutenant Drake assumed command and inspired his men to repel the enemy's attack. The enemy, positioned on three sides of the company, began a murderous crossfire. Although disaster seemed imminent, Lieutenant Drake calmly and adeptly led his men through the withering fire to more defensible terrain. Realizing that his company was becoming dispersed, Lieutenant Drake courageously exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to consolidate his company. At this time he was severely wounded; nevertheless, he valiantly continued to move through the bullet-swept area and succeeded in re- establishing the company defensive perimeter. He organized and directed his company in repelling four human wave assaults on his position. Fearlessly he exposed himself to fire time and time again to direct the fire of his men. In order that gunships and artillery could locate his perimeter, Lieutenant Drake shot hand flares 10 feet in front of his position. At 0100 hours on the following morning, the infuriated enemy launched another savage mortar attack and again seriously wounded Lieutenant Drake. Unable to move from his position, he continued his relentless efforts to halt the enemy horde. In spite of the heroic defense of the perimeter, the overwhelming strength of the enemy permitted a few insurgents to maneuver within hand grenade range. A volley of hand grenades was thrown into the company's position. Thinking only of the safety of his men, Lieutenant Drake lunged for the threatening grenade and attempted to throw it out. The resultant explosion mortally wounded Lieutenant Drake. His heroic action saved the lives of all others in the area. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his own safety, and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, Lieutenant Drake prevented additional casualties and inspired his men to successfully engage and repel the enemy. Lieutenant Drake's conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism are in the highest tradition of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of his country.
Department of the Army, General Orders No. 50 (September 26, 1968)

Surrounded and heavily outnumbered by elements of the 3rd NVA Regiment, 1LT Drake took command of C/2-1st Infantry during the battle of Phuoc Tuy. A mortar round landed and killed him instantly. Upon his death, 1LT German took command until he too was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who served with him that day.
Posted by: MAJ Thomas Pike

Steve Drake was a year ahead of me at kirkwood high school.
He was a serious student and an all-round good guy. I saw him
again at officers candidate school at Ft.Benning Ga. He was
an intructor in the leadership reaction course. He pulled
me aside and encouraged me to work hard and stay calm and
I would graduate. It was important for me to hear a few
postive words from a old friend from high school. Steve
is a war hero and I will remember him forever.
Posted by: les knott
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