The Department of Defense identified today three soldiers who were killed in action while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They are:
Staff Sgt. Lincoln D. Hollinsaid, 27, B Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, Fort Stewart, Ga., of Malden, Ill., was killed by enemy fire on April 7, 2003, in Iraq.
Pfc. Gregory P. Huxley, Jr., 19, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 17th Engineer Battalion, Fort Benning, Ga., of Forestport, N.Y., was killed by enemy fire on April 6, 2003, in Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, 34, A Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga., of Apollo, Pa., was killed by enemy fire during a raid into Baghdad on April 5, 2003, in Iraq.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Stevon A. Booker, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States while serving as a Tank Commander with Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) on 5 April 2003 in Iraq. On this date, Staff Sergeant Booker's platoon led a task force in a movement to contact along Highway 8 towards Baghdad International Airport. Two kilometers after the line of departure, the platoon came under heavy small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire from an enemy element. He immediately communicated the situation to his chain of command, encouraged his crew, and returned fire with his tank mounted machinegun. When both his and his crew's machineguns malfunctioned, Staff Sergeant Booker, with total disregard for his personal safety, exposed himself by lying in a prone position on top of the tank's turret and accurately engaged the enemy forces with his personal weapon. While exposed he effectively protected his platoon's flank and delivered accurate information to his command during a critical and vulnerable point of the battle. Staff Sergeant Booker's fearless attitude and excitement over the communications network inspired his platoon to continue the attack and assured them and leadership that they would defeat the enemy and reach their objective safely. As he remained exposed, Staff Sergeant Booker identified an enemy troop carrier which was attempting to bypass his tank, but within seconds engaged the enemy vehicle and destroyed it prior to the enemy troops dismounting. Along the eight kilometer route he remained exposed and continued to engage the enemy with accurate rifle fire until he was mortally wounded. Staff Sergeant Booker's actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), and the United States Army.