The men who killed 175 enemies in a single battle is a former Green Beret, retired SGM Bennie G. Adkins. From March 9 to 12, 1966 Adkins killed over a hundred enemy saved several fallen comrades and sustained multiple wounds from hostile fire. The incredible heroism occurred in Vietnam during combat operations against an armed enemy at Camp A Shau.
In the dawn of March 9, 1966, large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched a wide-scale attack on the camp. Under heavy fire, then Sergeant First Class Bennie G. Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire towards enemy positions, despite incurring severe wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars. In one moment, he realized that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp and ran through exploding mortar rounds in order to save his comrades. He managed to drag them to safety and retreat to mortar position.
As the hostile fire subsided, he exposed himself to sporadic sniper fire while carrying his wounded comrades to the camp dispensary. When Sergeant First Class Adkins and his group of defenders came under heavy small arms fire from members of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group that had defected to fight with the North Vietnamese, he maneuvered outside the camp to evacuate a seriously wounded American soldier and draw fire, all the while successfully covering the rescue. When a resupply airdrop landed outside of the camp perimeter, he, again, moved outside of the camp perimeter to retrieve the much-needed supplies for the defense.
In the dawn of the next day, enemy forces launched their main attack and within two hours, Bennie Adkins was the only man firing a mortar. When he expended all remaining mortar rounds he began placing effective recoilless rifle fire upon enemy positions. Despite receiving additional wounds from enemy rounds exploding on his position, Adkins fought off intense waves of attacking Viet Cong soldiers. He eliminated numerous enemy soldiers with small arms fire after withdrawing to a communications bunker with several other soldiers. Running extremely low on ammunition, he returned to the mortar pit, gathered vital ammunition and ran through intense fire back to the bunker.
Shortly after, orders were received: Evacuate the camp. Adkins and several soldiers destroyed all signal equipment and classified documents, dug their way out of the rear of the communications bunker and fought their way out of the overrun camp. While carrying a wounded soldier to the extraction point they learned that the last helicopter had already departed.
Sergeant First Class Bennie Adkins led the small group of soldiers on escape and evasion maneuver in order to save their lives until they were rescued by helicopter on March 12, 1966. During the 38-hour battle and 48 hours of escape and evasion, fighting with far more superior enemy armed with mortars, machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, and hand grenades, it was estimated that Bennie Adkins had killed between 135 and 175 of the enemy soldiers while sustaining 18 different wounds to his body.
Sergeant First Class Bennie G. Adkins was awarded the highest military decoration Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty in August 2014 after review of all 6.5 thousand recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross.