Short Biographies

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2nd Lieutenant Billy Walkabout


Billy Walkabout
A Cherokee of the Blue Holley Clan
March 31, 1949 - March 7, 2007

Billy Walkabout

Born: March 31, 1949, into the Cherokee Nation,
in Cherokee County, Okla.

Parents: Warren and Bobby Jean (Chaudoin) Walkabout


Nov. 20, 1968, Walkabout, a Ranger with the 101st Airborne, was inserted into North Vietnam as part of a long-range reconnaissance team. During extrication, the Rangers came under enemy fire that tore and shredded several men, including Walkabout.

Despite his injuries, Walkabout continued to lay down suppressive fire while his scattered teammates were recovered. Walkabout, by then severely wounded, continued administering first aid to his comrades, including revival of another soldier by heart massage.

Walkabout agreed to be flown out only after coordinating gunship and tactical airstrikes, and even then he helped board the wounded -- all the while under fire.

For his actions, Walkabout was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest U.S. decoration for gallantry in combat. He spent six months in a coma recovering from his wounds before returning to Vietnam.



Billy Walkabout


Military Decorations

Distinguished Service Cross,
Legion of Valor,
Five Silver Stars,
10 Bronze Stars (five for valor),
Seven Air Medals,
10 Army Commendation Medals (five for valor),
Six Purple Hearts,
Vietnamese Medal of Honor,
Two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palms,
Two Unit Citations to Individual Teams,
Presidential Citation for Meritorious Service,
Two Vietnam Presidential Citations,
Two Vietnam Presidential Cross of Gallantry with Palms,
Vietnamese Service Medal,
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal,
National Defense Service Medal (with Service Star),
Combat Infantryman Badge,
Parachutist Badge,
HALO Parachutist Badge,
Vietnamese Parachutist Badge,
Ranger Tab,
101st Recondo Badge,
Jungle Expert Badge
MACV Recondo Badge.

Billy Walkabout retired at the rank of second lieutenant. He is the most decorated American Indian soldier of the Vietnam War.



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Billy Walkabout was one of 42,000 American Indian soldiers who served in Southeast Asia from 1960 to 1973, or about 2 percent of all U.S. forces, according to a Department of Defense Web site.



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