Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation©

Marine Corps Vietnam-era Tankers and Ontosmen Have Made History. 

Your Historical Foundation is Making it Known.

First Lieutenant Kent E. Dobbins US MARINE CORPS

For service as set forth in the following:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant Kent E. Dobbins, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving Executive Officer of Company C, First Tank Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours of 23 February 1969, First Lieutenant Dobbins became aware that an adjacent artillery battery was under hostile attack. Unhesitatingly assembling a crew, he directed his tank into the neighboring area and, observing a quarters building burning, fearlessly exposed himself to the intense enemy automatic weapons fire has he ran with a fire extinguisher to the flaming structure. Disregarding the small arms ammunition and grenades exploding inside, he assisted in extinguishing the flames and returned to his tracked vehicle. Alertly observing hostile soldiers attempting to breach the unit's defensive perimeter, he directed his tank to the point of contact and, despite anti-tank rockets impacting nearby, remained in his dangerously exposed position to deliver several rounds of fire into a forward tree line suspected of harboring additional enemy soldiers. Utilizing his search light, he pinpointed the breached berm, thereby enabling a Marine squad to capture two hostile soldiers. Interrogation of a North Vietnamese Army warrant officer, captured later, revealed that the tree line had concealed a large force that was assembled in preparation for an attack on the Battery. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and minimized Marine casualties. By his courage, bold initiative and unwavering devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Dobbins contributed significantly to the security of the artillery battery and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.