News Release: Billy Walkabout dies at 57

03 April 2007

Billy Bob Walkabout, the most decorated Native American soldier of the Vietnam War, died on March 7th in Connecticut.

Whilst serving with Company F, 58th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), Walkabout was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during a long range reconnaissance patrol in November 1968.

After successfully ambushing an enemy squad, the patrol came under hostile fire whilst preparing for extraction. Though hurt himself, the 18 year old Ranger successfully managed to load injured comrades on to rescue helicopters, applied first aid to the wounded and coordinated air strikes on the enemy’s positions.

Walkabout also received a Purple Heart, five Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars during his twenty-three months in Vietnam. He retired as a second lieutenant but was scarred both mentally and physically by the war.

He died of pneumonia and renal failure, aged 57, and had experienced complications thought to have been caused by exposure to the Agent Orange defoliant chemical.
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