Bender, Gernot, SSG

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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11D40-Armor Reconnaissance Specialist
Last MOS Group
Armor (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1963-1969, 11D40, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
Service Years
1957 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Order of the Spur

Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT James E. Reece, III (Team Leader, Vietnam Profiles) to remember Bender, Gernot, SSG.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Columbus, GA
Last Address
Columbus, GA

Casualty Date
Mar 25, 1969
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Hau Nghia (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Alter Friedhof - Hessen, Germany
Wall/Plot Coordinates
28W 032

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of The Spur

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry AssociationVietnam Veterans Memorial
  1969, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor [Verified]
  1969, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Association [Verified]1
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Tributes from Members  
Tributes from Others posted by IN Olsen, David O, SGT 548
My Father posted by CA Short, Diane 829
Tribute from 3/4 Cav Association posted by AR Moore, John (SaberAlpha 10), MAJ 229
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1963-1969, 11D40, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
  1969-1969, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
 Colleges Attended 
University of San Francisco
  1967-1969, University of San Francisco
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Nov 22, 2012, General Photos5
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

SSG Bender is interred in the family plot in the Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery) at Giessen, Germany.

Served as Platoon Sergeant, Track A25-PSG, 2nd Platoon, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry 25th ID. He had served 10 years at the time of his death in Hua Nghia Province, RV. His tour began on Feb 26, 1969.  Sgt. Bender left a wife and son.


       The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Gernot Bender (ASN: RA-51414267), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Troop A, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division. Staff Sergeant Bender distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 25 March 1969 in Hau Nghai Province on a mission to engage an enemy force which had ambushed the Dau Tieng convoy. Reaching the ambush site, his troop found the aggressors had moved to a new hiding place, and the squadron and troop commander had advanced alone to reconnoiter. When firing was heard, Sergeant Bender immediately drove his tank to the aid of the two officers. Seeing that they were pinned down by a machine gun bunker, he silenced the emplacement with his main gun and then spearheaded an assault as the rest of his unit followed. Intense hostile fire wounded several men and a rocket-propelled grenade scored a direct hit on an armored personnel carrier. Sergeant Bender moved to secure the carrier and provide covering fire while the casualties were rescued, throwing grenades and firing his rifle after his vehicle's weapons became inoperative. He then pulled back to a defensive position where he placed suppressive fire during the evacuation of the wounded, re-supplied his element with ammunition, and repaired his weapons which had malfunctioned. As his troop again moved forward, he assaulted a machine gun bunker, destroying it and killing its occupants, and then engaged and destroyed a rocket-propelled grenade team that exposed itself to fire on one of the carriers. Second later his vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, seriously wounding him in the leg. Ignoring his wounds, he continued to fight, thus allowing the lesser wounded to be evacuated to safety. Soon Sergeant Bender collapsed as his own injuries proved fatal. Staff Sergeant Bender's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Notes from A Trp 3/4 Cavalry Website:

Mar 19 - At 1445 hrs Troop inserts LRRP Team in woodline while on the move at grid XT482434 near hwy LTL 19 in northern Boi Loi Woods south of Dau Tieng.

Mar 20 - At 1420 hrs Troop inserts LRRP Team 15 while on the move at grid XT415424 in wooded area south of Hwy 239 southwest of Dau Tieng.

Mar 21 - Troop is reaction force to LRRP Team 15 in contact at grid XT414421 south of Hwy 239 southwest of Dau Tieng. - LRRP Team had encountered trench line and receives fire from all around position. - At 1545 hrs Troop reaches area of LRRP Team 15 and places suppressive fires on enemy position. - At 1640 hrs LRRP Team 15's personnel secured on Troop tracks at grid XT413417.

Mar 22 - Troop extracts LRRP Team 25 at grid XT482434 near hwy LTL 19 in northwestern Boi Loi Woods south of Dau Tieng.

Mar 24 - At 1545 Troop inserts LRRP Team 24 while on the move at grid XT487425 in northwestern Boi Loi Woods south of Dau Tieng.

Mar 25 - 0655 hrs A Trp beginning sweep to CP12. - 0945 hrs A Trp reports villagers in Trung Mit say there is a base camp 600 meters NE of village, also report they were paid 12 piasters a piece to bury 25 or 30 NVA bodies the day after A Trp contact. - At 1015 hrs Troop extracts LRRP Team 24 near Rack Cau Noan River in Boi Loi Woods at grid XT487425. No enemy activity. - At 1030 hrs 2 scout tracks from Troop insert LRRP Team 15 at grid XT487425. - Troop begins a reconnaissance-in-force in the Boi Loi Woods. - Late morning Division resupply convoy reports being ambushed by 3d Bn, 101st NVA Regt force near the villiage of Uio Cao at grid XT4528 on highway LTL 19 northwest of Trang Bang. - Troop along with D Troop Aerorifle platoon sent as reaction force to assist convoy. Convoy under heavy fire. - Troop reaches road moves east and deploys with platoons on line moving north into the NVA force set up in the bamboo woodline. - Troop maneuvers between convoy and NVA positions providing covering fire as convoy passes safely. - 1315 hrs A Trp found some XT 456258 , bunkers - 1320 hrs CO requested scare tapes over area of contact. XT456258 - 1420 hrs A LFT sent to XT568259, troops in contact. - 1520 hrs A Trp dustoff 1 NVA litter XT464280, urgent. - 1611 hrs A Trp receiving RPG's at this time Gunteams rolling in - 1622 hrs A Trp has 2 more BC - 1635 hrs A Trp captured 1 mortar tube, 82 MM and rnds - Heavy contact with NVA in trenches. 2nd platoon scout track takes rpg in cupola wounding SGT Robertson. (see Tropic Lightning News Article) - 1644 hrs A Trp in contact need dustoff XT462259 - 1650 hrs A Trp dustoff ETA 20 - Centaurs medivac SGT Robertson and 2 other wounded. - 1700 hrs A Trp receiving heavy RPG and automatic weapons fire - 1705 hrs Arty coming out of wood to area of contact XT462259 - 1725 hrs Gun Team on stations - Troop calls Arty and air strikes and then assaults NVA trench and bunker complex in wood line. Napalm dropped on wood line. - B Battery 1/8 Arty fires 141 rounds in support and B Battery 3/13 Arty fires 126 rounds in support. - 1746 hrs to 1845 hrs Airstrikes on station and had been expended, A troop making sweep. - SSG Bender from A Troop KIA and PFC Flores from D Troop Aerorifles KIA. - 42 NVA killed during battle and 5 POWs captured. - Elements of 2/34 Armor and 2/14 Infantry deployed in support of A Troop. - At 1705 Troop inserts LRRP Team 24 while on the move at grid XT455372. - 1900 hrs Flare Ship being sent to A Trp also dustoff for 2 US WIA urgent - At 1915 hrs LRRP Team 24 reports force of 15 NVA sweeping towards their position firing automatic weapons. - At 1920 hrs Troop begins to sweep towards LRRP Team 24 while firing illumination rounds. Enemy fire on LRRPs cease. - 1920 hrs A Trp reports one KIA and three WIA - 1922 hrs A Trp returning FSB Wood - 1945 hrs A Trp returning, CO reports, 7 WIA, 2 Critical and 1 KIA - 2005 hrs A Trp cleared CP 12 - 2030 hrs A Trp closed on FSB Wood.

Mar 26 - Sweep of Mar 25 battlefield results in 44 additional NVA bodies, 4 30mm machingues, assorted rifles, 51cal ammo, 82mm mortar rounds, and 2,000 rounds of rifle ammo.

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