Saturday, August 7, 2010

Passing of a Hero

In memory of SGT David C. Dolby, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division,  May 14, 1946 to August 6, 2010.

The word hero gets used a lot in our culture nowadays, but it's rare that a true hero is celebrated.  Only a very few heroes are awarded the Medal of Honor while still alive.  The actions that earn that highest award tend to be fatal.  David Dolby was one of those special men.

One such hero passed from our midst yesterday:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, when his platoon, while advancing tactically, suddenly came under intense fire from the enemy located on a ridge immediately to the front. Six members of the platoon were killed instantly and a number were wounded, including the platoon leader. Sgt. Dolby's every move brought fire from the enemy. However, aware that the platoon leader was critically wounded, and that the platoon was in a precarious situation, Sgt. Dolby moved the wounded men to safety and deployed the remainder of the platoon to engage the enemy. Subsequently, his dying platoon leader ordered Sgt. Dolby to withdraw the forward elements to rejoin the platoon. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire and with utter disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Dolby positioned able-bodied men to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements, assisted the wounded to the new position, and he, alone, attacked enemy positions until his ammunition was expended. Replenishing his ammunition, he returned to the area of most intense action, single-handedly killed 3 enemy machine gunners and neutralized the enemy fire, thus enabling friendly elements on the flank to advance on the enemy redoubt. He defied the enemy fire to personally carry a seriously wounded soldier to safety where he could be treated and, returning to the forward area, he crawled through withering fire to within 50 meters of the enemy bunkers and threw smoke grenades to mark them for air strikes. Although repeatedly under fire at close range from enemy snipers and automatic weapons, Sgt. Dolby directed artillery fire on the enemy and succeeded in silencing several enemy weapons. He remained in his exposed location until his comrades had displaced to more secure positions. His actions of unsurpassed valor during 4 hours of intense combat were a source of inspiration to his entire company, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. Sgt. Dolby's heroism was in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army.
 At the time of this action, Dolby was a Specialist 4.  He probably had no official leadership training, and it's doubtful that he had anything other than rudimentary knowledge of how to call in artillery and air support.  It's doubtful that he was even close to the top of the command chain in his platoon.  But none of that mattered when the world dropped out from under him and his comrades.  When his leadership was killed or wounded in the first moments of the battle, he stood up and took charge.  He placed himself in danger to take care of the wounded, coordinate the efforts of his platoon, and knock out enemy emplacements.   This 20 year old did more in that 4 hour stretch than most people will do in their entire lives, and our world is a better place because of his actions.

Sergeant Dolby, may the Lord keep and protect you. 


Shannon said...

Anybody willing to go to war to protect my freedom is a hero in my mind. Sgt. Dolby was obviously a hero of infinite degree. God bless him.

Amusing Bunni said...

God Bless Sgt. Dolby and his family.
A true Hero. He will be rewarded in heaven for his sacrifice. Thanks for posting this D Bear.

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at