Sabalauski, Walter James, CSM

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Last Rank
Command Sergeant Major
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00Z-Command Sergeant Major IN
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1967-1969, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment
Service Years
1941 - 1971

Command Sergeant Major

Ten Service Stripes

Fourteen Overseas Service Bars

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Sabalauski, Walter James, CSM USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
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Date of Passing
Oct 22, 1993
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 US Army Retired

 Unofficial Badges 


 Military Association Memberships
Legion Of Valor
  1966, Legion Of Valor - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

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

Walter J. Sabalauski

Company C, 2d Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division

For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company C, 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

First Sergeant Sabalauski distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 9 to 11 June 1966 while participating in a blocking operation near Dak To. When the Viet Cong occupied jungle suddenly erupted with intense hostile fire from three directions, First Sergeant Sabalauski, realizing that the company commander could not possibly control all the elements in the thick bamboo growth and 50 foot canopies, rallied and directed the beleaguered troops in an attempt to gain fire superiority. With complete disregard for his safety, First Sergeant Sabalauski dashed from position to position and repeatedly exposed himself to muster his unit and quell the hostile fire. As the Viet Cong assaulted the perimeter, First Sergeant Sabalauski quickly organized an assault line and delivered suppressive fire onto the fanatical Viet Cong. After dashing to the rear of the perimeter and observing that the insurgents were surrounding his company, he exposed himself and screamed orders to form a tight defensive perimeter. Although artillery was called in as close as 25 meters from the friendly force and air strikes devastated the jungle around the perimeter, the determined Viet Cong continued to advance.

When the company commander called in air strikes on his own position as a last resort, First Sergeant Sabalauski remained on his feet to control the beleaguered paratroopers. For 30 hours, he continued to dash from one side of the perimeter to the other to direct and encourage his men. Although he was wounded himself, First Sergeant Sabalauski aided his wounded comrades, comforted the dying, and continued to direct his men. When reinforcements arrived and a hasty perimeter was again set up, he fearlessly moved forward of the perimeter and retrieved a dead comrade. After a 1,000 meter move to an evacuation point, First Sergeant Sabalauski personally supervised the extraction of the wounded and dead. Through his courage and outstanding leadership throughout the long and perilous battle, he contributed immeasurable to the success of his mission.

First Sergeant Sabalauski's extraordinary heroism 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.Company C, 2d Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. HQ USARV GO 5821 Sep 27, 66

Walter James Sabalauski was born in Lithuania in 1910.   His family moved to the United States while he was a small child.  From 1929 to 1937, he boxed professionally while living in the Chicago area. An auto accident ended his career with an outstanding record of only two defeats in 33 bouts. 

Command Sergeant Major Sabalauski entered the Army in June 1941.  During World War II, he served in the Pacific Theater, fighting on the beachheads of the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, and  the Philippines.  

He later served in the Korean War with the 187th Regimental Combat Team (Airborne) and 25th Infantry  Regiment.  

In 1963, CSM Sabalauski went to Vietnam for the first time, where he served as an advisor to the 32d Vietnamese  Ranger Battalion.  

After service in the Dominican Republic in 1965, he returned to Vietnam in 1966.  It was during this tour  that he fought his most memorable battle.


Early in June of 1966, Charlie Company, 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry Regiment was conducting a mission to locate elements  of the 24th North Vietnamese Regiment. Charlie Company made contact with what was estimated to be a battalion-sized enemy element.  Under heavy enemy fire and unable to maneuver, the company commander, CPT William Carpenter called for air strikes in his position in an attempt to force the enemy to withdraw.  The enemy ceased fire long enough to allow Charlie Company to consolidate, reorganize and establish a position from which to defend and begin evacuation of wounded personnel.  1SG Sabalauski, in utter disregard for his own safety, repeatedly placed himself at risk for the sake of his soldiers during the conduct of this mission.  For his extraordinary heroism in destroying the enemy and in evacuation the mass causalities, he received both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star.


After his second tour in Vietnam he returned to the United States to serve as Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major at West Point.  In 1968, he again returned to Vietnam and the 2-502d Infantry Regiment.  Command Sergeant Major Sabalauski continued to serve until 1971 when he retired at the age of 61.

Command Sergeant Major Sabalauski's awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, 8 Bronze Stars, 3 Air Medals, 6 Army Commendation Medals, 4 Purple Hearts, 3 Awards of the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge along with campaign medals for service in World War II, Korea, Dominican Republic, and Vietnam.

Command Sergeant Major Sabalauski died in 1993 and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.  To the soldiers who served with him, he is remembered as a fearless leader in combat and as having a heart as big as any country in which he served. 


     WJ Sabalauski PHOTO


Other Comments:

The Sabalauski Air Assault School located in Fort Campbell, Kentucky was renamed in his honour in 1994.


WJ Sabalauski PHOTO

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   1963-1964, 11G50, Field Advisory Element MACV

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Field Advisory Element MACV
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Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
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Last Updated: Oct 29, 2012
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55 Members Also There at Same Time
Field Advisory Element MACV

Bigley, George Carl, SFC, (1942-1965) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Combs, Alfred Henry, SFC, (1951-1965) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Freeland, Guy Thomas, SFC, (1948-1964) IN 11B40 Sergeant First Class
Martin, George Willis, SFC, (1949-1964) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
McCoy, John Lowery, SFC, (1952-1964) IN 11B10 Sergeant First Class
Benning, William Donavan, SSG, (1962-1965) IN 11B10 Staff Sergeant
Stayton, Coy Gene, SSG, (1958-1968) IN 11B10 Sergeant
Blake, Ronald Earl, SP 4, (1962-1965) IN 11B10 Specialist 4
Ratzlaff, James, SP 4, (1964-1967) IN 111.0 Specialist 4
Davis, Floyd Robert, PFC, (1962-1963) IN 11B10 Private First Class
Freeman, Rube Alfred, MSG, (1944-1963) IN 11B10 Master Sergeant
Congleton, Roy Elsworth, MAJ, (1954-1964) IN 1542 Major
Shult, Dennis, MAJ, (1964-1984) AG 2162 Major
Stoneburner, John Fredrick, MAJ, (1953-1964) AG 2162 Major
Torrence, James Edward, LTC, (1955-1971) IN 1542 Major
Darnell, Richard, CPT, (1963-1970) IN 1542 Captain
Eisenbraun, William Forbes "Ike", CPT, (1949-1967) IN 1542 Captain
Garcia, Heriberto Arnaldo, CPT, (1955-1964) IN 1542 Captain
Johnson, Richard Sherwin, CPT, (1958-1965) AV 2163 Captain
King, John Edward, CPT, (1950-1964) IN 1542 Captain
Kramer, Leon Joseph, CPT, (1956-1963) IN 1542 Captain
Masotti, James Joseph, CPT, (1961-1965) IN 1542 Captain
Payne, Lloyd Adrian, CPT IN 1542 Captain
Reilly, Robert Jude, CPT, (1961-1964) IN 1542 Captain
Deutsch, Henry Albert, CPT, (1957-1965) IN 1542 First Lieutenant
Steele, Gary Lyn, CPT, (1962-1965) AV 1981 First Lieutenant
Cawthorne, William Bayles, 2LT, (1962-1964) AV 1981 Second Lieutenant
Curlee, Robert Lee, SSG, (1948-1965) MD 91B10 Staff Sergeant
Patterson, Earl Allen, SSG, (1948-1964) AR 11E10 Staff Sergeant
Nelson, Donald Lee, SP 5 AV 67J Specialist 5
Thornton, Frank, SP 5, (1952-1964) AG 71L10 Specialist 5
Ulatoski, Joseph R., BG, (1945-1977) 2162 Major
Spann, Frederick Clayton, COL, (1943-1973) Lieutenant Colonel
Engel, Meir, LTC, (1943-1964) Major
Greany, Virgil Raymond, MAJ, (1952-1964) Major
Howard, Eli Page, LTC, (1946-1969) Major
Samouce, Warren, COL, (1954-1976) Major
Thurman, Maxwell Reid, GEN, (1953-1991) Major
Kelley, Victor Bruce, CPT, (1945-1965) Captain
McCarthy, Thomas Weller, CPT, (1955-1964) Captain
Newcomb, Clarence Matthews, CPT, (1946-1965) Captain
O'Sullivan, Christopher Joseph, CPT, (1959-1965) Captain
Palmer, William (Bill), COL, (1957-1987) IN Captain
Ragin, William David, CPT, (1961-1964) Captain
McMahan, Thomas Edward, CPT, (1962-1965) First Lieutenant
Reach, William Thomas, 1LT, (1962-1965) First Lieutenant
Holt, Allen Lee, CW2, (1957-1965) Chief Warrant Officer 2
Haugen, Alan Robert, 1SG, (1953-1968) Sergeant First Class
Maultsby, Thomas Henry, SFC, (1950-1964) Sergeant First Class
Parks, Joe, SFC, (1947-1967) Sergeant First Class
Bennett, Harold George, SSG, (1957-1965) Staff Sergeant
Burgert, Robert, SGT, (1953-1963) Sergeant
Elliott, Norman, SP 4, (1964-1965) Specialist 4
Mitchell, Ralph, SSG, (1951-1964) Staff Sergeant
Hennessey, Arthur F., SP 4, (1964-1965) Specialist 4

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