Summary

Cavaro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after being killed in action during the Vietnam War.

Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Lieutenant Colonel 2
Birth:
02 Oct 1930 2
Washington, D.C. 3
Death:
23 Jul 1970 2
Thua Thien Province, Vietnam 4
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Andre Cavaro Lucas 2
Birth:
02 Oct 1930 2
Washington, D.C. 3
Male 2
Death:
23 Jul 1970 2
Thua Thien Province, Vietnam 3
Cause: Artillery, Rocket, Mortar 2
Age at Death: 39 2
Body Recovered: Recovered 2
Casualty Date: 23 Jul 1970 2
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 2
Residence:
Hometown: San Diego, CA 2
Edit
Marriage:
Madeleine Miller 4
Marital Status: Married 2
Edit

Vietnam War 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Lieutenant Colonel 2
Battalion:
2nd Bn 2
Company:
HHC 2
Enlistment Type:
Regular 2
Grade:
O5 2
Major Command:
101st Abn Div 2
Posthumous Decoration:
Medal of Honor 2
Regiment:
506th Infantry 2
Service:
Army 2
Specialty:
Infantry Unit Commander (ARMY) 2
Tour Start Date:
27 Oct 1969 2

Other Service 3

Branch:
Army 3
Service Start Date:
1948 3
Service End Date:
1970 3
Edit
Religion:
Protestant - No Denominational Preference 2
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 2
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 46 2
Panel: 08W 2

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Stories

LTC Andre Lucas was the Battalion Commander and a West Point graduate.

LTC Lucas was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration, as a result of his heroism during the battle of FSB Ripcord on 23 July 1970. The Citation reads: Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 2d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. place and date: Fire Support Base Ripcord, Republic of Vietnam, 1 to 23 July 1970. Entered service at: West point, N.Y. Born: 2 October 1930, Washington D.C. Citation: Lt. Col. Lucas distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while serving as the commanding officer of the 2d Battalion. Although the fire base was constantly subjected to heavy attacks by a numerically superior enemy force throughout this period, Lt. Col. Lucas, forsaking his own safety, performed numerous acts of extraordinary valor in directing the defense of the allied position. On 1 occasion, he flew in a helicopter at treetop level above an entrenched enemy directing the fire of 1 of his companies for over 3 hours. Even though his helicopter was heavily damaged by enemy fire, he remained in an exposed position until the company expended its supply of grenades. He then transferred to another helicopter, dropped critically needed grenades to the troops, and resumed his perilous mission of directing fire on the enemy. These courageous actions by Lt. Col. Lucas prevented the company from being encircled and destroyed by a larger enemy force. On another occasion, Lt. Col. Lucas attempted to rescue a crewman trapped in a burning helicopter. As the flames in the. aircraft spread, and enemy fire became intense, Lt. Col. Lucas ordered all members of the rescue party to safety. Then, at great personal risk, he continued the rescue effort amid concentrated enemy mortar fire, intense heat, and exploding ammunition until the aircraft was completely engulfed in flames. Lt. Col. Lucas was mortally wounded while directing the successful withdrawal of his battalion from the fire base. His actions throughout this extended period inspired his men to heroic efforts, and were instrumental in saving the lives of many of his fellow soldiers while inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. Lt. Col. Lucas' conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT

EXCERPT FROM USMA CLASS OF 1954 WEBSITE: ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS brought two strong military traditions to West Point, one American, the other French. His father was a career Army officer who commanded a company in the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, during WWI. Andre served as an enlisted soldier in the same company before entering West Point. His mother insisted that Andre receive his secondary education in her home town in France, where he was imbued with the glories of French military prowess during the Napoleonic wars. At West Point, his mother was thrilled to watch the Corps of Cadets march to the music “Sombre et Meuse.” For Andre, being a professional army officer was preordained. He never considered any other path. Late in his Third Class year, Andre met his future wife, Madeleine Miller, fluent in French and of Swiss-French parentage. A strong personality, Madeleine gave him two sons and unflinching support for the rest of his life. The Lucases were famous for their hospitality, good wine and cuisine, and hilarious parties. Never ordinary people, they lived with energy and wonderful imagination. Their two sons, John and William, added to the excitement that always surrounded their home. Andre attended Infantry, Airborne, and Ranger Schools and served as an armored infantry platoon leader in Munich, Germany, and a leader of a Special Forces A Team in the 10th Special Forces Group at Bad Toelz, Germany. He returned to the States in 1958 for duty at Ranger School at Eglin AFB in Florida for a year. He then became the aide to the deputy commanding general of Ft. Benning. Next, Andre completed the Infantry Offi cers Advanced Course and served as a tactical offi cer at West Point before going to Viet Nam. There, Andre advised a Vietnamese battalion, earning the first of two Silver Stars. He also prompted combat operational innovations. Surrounded by Viet Cong forces, Lucas radioed to a flight of U.S. helicopters passing overhead. He persuaded the crews to fi re small arms at the besieging Viet Cong forces. This improvised attack, apparently the fi rst of its kind, caused the Viet Cong to withdraw. The episode proved catalytic for the rapid development of helicopter gunships. Upon return to the States, Andre completed CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth and the French War College in Paris and then served for one and half years on the staff of the European Command in Paris. When de Gaulle expelled U.S. forces from France, Andre served six more months at the command’s new location in Stuttgart, Germany. Next, he commanded the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment in Germany, and then he returned to Ft. Riley to serve as the G-3 of the 24th Infantry Division. There he made a fateful decision. Twice promoted ahead of his year group, Andre was one of the most promising Infantry officers in the Army. A decorated combat veteran, he was not slated to return to Viet Nam, but believed that, as a professional officer, he had a duty to command a battalion in combat. Thus, Andre volunteered in the fall of 1969. His clairvoyant wife begged him to go a month later or a month earlier, but not in October. He paid no heed. While commanding the “Currahees” battalion of the 506th Infantry in the 101st Airmobile Division, his battalion was surrounded by a much larger North Vietnamese regular force and fought for three weeks before Andre was allowed to evacuate his unit. Preparing to depart the fire base on the last helicopter out, Andre was hit by rocket fire and lost a leg. He died on 23 July 1970 on Fire Base Ripcord. The Battle of Ripcord was the last large-scale combat involving U.S. forces in Vietnam. Whether or not his battalion should have been deployed on Ripcord was controversial, but that ambiguity did not weaken Andre’s sense of duty in the face of what he must have known was an ill-fated mission. It is a painful irony that he brought the American and French military traditions to Viet Nam, the very place where they had been tragically intertwined in the early 1950s. True to both traditions, Andre’s repeated bravery during three weeks of sustained close combat was remarkable. For his actions, he received the Medal of Honor, the only member of the Class of 1954 so honored. A number of other honors have also come his way. In 1993, Andre was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame at Ft. Lewis, WA. At Ft. Campbell, KY, a computerized training field and a state-of-the-art elementary school were named for him. At West Point, the Class of ’54 has established the Andre Lucas Military Heritage Center as the class’s 50th reunion gift to the Military Academy. In addition to his wife Madeleine and his two sons, John and William, Andre is survived by John’s two sons, Andre Cavaro Lucas II and Ian Lucas. — William E. Odom ’54

LTC Lucas assumed command of 2/506 INF in October 1969, replacing LTC Len Hanawald (USMA '57) who was also killed in action while attempting to capture a VC soldier on 3 Sept 1969.

Medal of Honor Citation
ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
2d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Place and Date: Fire Support Base Ripcord, Republic of Vietnam, 1 to 23 July 1970.
Entered Service at: West point, N.Y.
Born :2 October 1930, Washington D.C.

Lt. Col. Lucas distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while serving as the commanding officer of the 2d Battalion. Although the fire base was constantly subjected to heavy attacks by a numerically superior enemy force throughout this period, Lt. Col. Lucas, forsaking his own safety, performed numerous acts of extraordinary valor in directing the defense of the allied position. On 1 occasion, he flew in a helicopter at treetop level above an entrenched enemy directing the fire of 1 of his companies for over 3 hours. Even though his helicopter was heavily damaged by enemy fire, he remained in an exposed position until the company expended its supply of grenades. He then transferred to another helicopter, dropped critically needed grenades to the troops, and resumed his perilous mission of directing fire on the enemy. These courageous actions by Lt. Col. Lucas prevented the company from being encircled and destroyed by a larger enemy force. On another occasion, Lt. Col. Lucas attempted to rescue a crewman trapped in a burning helicopter. As the flames in the. aircraft spread, and enemy fire became intense, Lt. Col. Lucas ordered all members of the rescue party to safety. Then, at great personal risk, he continued the rescue effort amid concentrated enemy mortar fire, intense heat, and exploding ammunition until the aircraft was completely engulfed in flames. Lt. Col. Lucas was mortally wounded while directing the successful withdrawal of his battalion from the fire base. His actions throughout this extended period inspired his men to heroic efforts, and were instrumental in saving the lives of many of his fellow soldiers while inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. Lt. Col. Lucas' conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Gary Moore
gmoore@cpinternet.com
I was his driver for a short time
Colonel Lucas.I knew you only as your driver while my nicks and cuts were healing.you weren't a stiff neck officer.I felt very close to you man-to-man and you never made me feel like the nco I was.I value every second we spent together and all the questions you asked about combat.I could tell you cared and was shocked but not surprised reading what you eventually did at Ripcord.I'm proud to have known you.I just knew you were more concerned with field command than staff command.I salute you.and I'm proud of you .if Ms Lucas ever reads this I'd be so happy to share my experiences with your husband.you chose very well. Gary gmoore@cpinternet.com
Thursday, September 27, 2001


Ripcord Casualty
Posted for: ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS:
LTC Lucas---died at Firebase Ripcord during the "hot" extraction of all personnel from the jungle mountain top 7/23/70. The base was under siege heavily by an estimated Division strength of NVA from July 1st to 23rd, 1970. The base was strategically located in the mountains near the Ho Chi Minh trail and was part of the string of FSBs in support of the 101st Airborne Division in the jungle mountains of I Corps, northwest of Hue. I was a door gunner on a slick during the extraction, and all the soldiers involved sincerely felt remorse for the death of Col. Lucas. A fine man as well as a leader, respected by his men as well as Division staff. May you rest in peace......Amen
Thomas J. Chase RVN-1969-1970
Posted by: Thomas Chase
Email: thomas.chase4@gte.net
Relationship: Fellow Comrade in Arms
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
Medal of Honor Citation
ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
2d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Place and Date: Fire Support Base Ripcord, Republic of Vietnam, 1 to 23 July 1970.
Entered Service at: West point, N.Y.
Born :2 October 1930, Washington D.C.

Lt. Col. Lucas distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while serving as the commanding officer of the 2d Battalion. Although the fire base was constantly subjected to heavy attacks by a numerically superior enemy force throughout this period, Lt. Col. Lucas, forsaking his own safety, performed numerous acts of extraordinary valor in directing the defense of the allied position. On 1 occasion, he flew in a helicopter at treetop level above an entrenched enemy directing the fire of 1 of his companies for over 3 hours. Even though his helicopter was heavily damaged by enemy fire, he remained in an exposed position until the company expended its supply of grenades. He then transferred to another helicopter, dropped critically needed grenades to the troops, and resumed his perilous mission of directing fire on the enemy. These courageous actions by Lt. Col. Lucas prevented the company from being encircled and destroyed by a larger enemy force. On another occasion, Lt. Col. Lucas attempted to rescue a crewman trapped in a burning helicopter. As the flames in the. aircraft spread, and enemy fire became intense, Lt. Col. Lucas ordered all members of the rescue party to safety. Then, at great personal risk, he continued the rescue effort amid concentrated enemy mortar fire, intense heat, and exploding ammunition until the aircraft was completely engulfed in flames. Lt. Col. Lucas was mortally wounded while directing the successful withdrawal of his battalion from the fire base. His actions throughout this extended period inspired his men to heroic efforts, and were instrumental in saving the lives of many of his fellow soldiers while inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. Lt. Col. Lucas' conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.

Gary Moore
gmoore@cpinternet.com
I was his driver for a short time
Colonel Lucas.I knew you only as your driver while my nicks and cuts were healing.you weren't a stiff neck officer.I felt very close to you man-to-man and you never made me feel like the nco I was.I value every second we spent together and all the questions you asked about combat.I could tell you cared and was shocked but not surprised reading what you eventually did at Ripcord.I'm proud to have known you.I just knew you were more concerned with field command than staff command.I salute you.and I'm proud of you .if Ms Lucas ever reads this I'd be so happy to share my experiences with your husband.you chose very well. Gary gmoore@cpinternet.com
Thursday, September 27, 2001

Ripcord Casualty
Posted for: ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS:
LTC Lucas---died at Firebase Ripcord during the "hot" extraction of all personnel from the jungle mountain top 7/23/70. The base was under siege heavily by an estimated Division strength of NVA from July 1st to 23rd, 1970. The base was strategically located in the mountains near the Ho Chi Minh trail and was part of the string of FSBs in support of the 101st Airborne Division in the jungle mountains of I Corps, northwest of Hue. I was a door gunner on a slick during the extraction, and all the soldiers involved sincerely felt remorse for the death of Col. Lucas. A fine man as well as a leader, respected by his men as well as Division staff. May you rest in peace......Amen
Thomas J. Chase RVN-1969-1970
Posted by: Thomas Chase
Email: thomas.chase4@gte.net
Relationship: Fellow Comrade in Arms
Tuesday, December 28, 1999

Lucas Military Heritage Center
The Lucas Military Heritage Center brings together the power of historical artifact study,the resources of the Internet, and a suite of interactive technologies to provide an exceptional venue for the Corps of Cadets and the visiting public.  The center will be used by many of the Military Academy’s academic departments.  Courses in history, military leadership, engineering, and the language arts are some of the disciplines that can benefit from the integration of museum displays, video displays, and high speed Internet connectivity with leading institutions around the world.  There is retractable seating for 64 cadets with power outlets and wireless access for all students.  The center incorporates astate-of-the-art, fully automated audio-visual system. The center provides an attractive, well-lighted gallery with a combination of wall panel systems and exhibit cases that can be used to display special collections from other institutions as well as the museum’s own outstanding artifacts.  As an exhibits gallery for the West Point Museum, the Lucas Center can serve as a source of cutting-edge education and will enhance West Point’s ability to attract our nation’s top students.  The center will highlight the Military Academy’s commitment to undergraduate education and will inspire visitors to the museum.


Andre C.Lucas
2 October 1930 – 23 July 1970
ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS brought two strong military traditions to West Point, one American, the other French. His father was a career Army
officer who commanded a company in the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, during WWI. Andre served as an enlisted soldier in
the same company before entering West Point. His mother insisted that Andre receive his secondary education in her home town in France,
where he was imbued with the glories of French military prowess during the Napoleonic wars. At West Point, his mother was thrilled to watch
the Corps of Cadets march to the music “Sombre et Meuse.” For Andre, being a professional army officer was preordained. He never considered
any other path.

Late in his Third Class year, Andre met his future wife, Madeleine Miller, fluent in French and of Swiss-French parentage. A strong personality,
Madeleine gave him two sons and unflinching support for the rest of his life. The Lucases were famous for their hospitality, good wine and
cuisine, and hilarious parties. Never ordinary people, they lived with energy and wonderful imagination. Their two sons, John and William,
added to the excitement that always surrounded their home.
Andre attended Infantry, Airborne, and Ranger Schools and served as an armored infantry platoon leader in Munich, Germany, and a leader
of a Special Forces A Team in the 10th Special Forces Group at Bad Toelz, Germany. He returned to the States in 1958 for duty at Ranger School at Eglin AFB in Florida for a year. He then became the aide to the deputy commanding general of Ft. Benning. Next, Andre completed the Infantry Officers Advanced Course and served as a tactical officer at West Point before going to Viet Nam. There, Andre advised a Vietnamese battalion, earning the first of two Silver Stars. He also prompted combat operational innovations. Surrounded by Viet Cong forces, Lucas radioed to a flight of U.S. helicopters passing overhead. He persuaded the crews to fire small arms at the besieging Viet Cong forces. This improvised attack, apparently the first of its kind, caused the Viet Cong to withdraw. The episode proved catalytic for the rapid development of helicopter gunships.

Upon return to the States, Andre completed CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth and the French War College in Paris and then served for one and half
years on the staff of the European Command in Paris. When de Gaulle expelled U.S. forces from France, Andre served six more months at the
command’s new location in Stuttgart, Germany. Next, he commanded the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment in Germany, and then he
returned to Ft. Riley to serve as the G-3 of the 24th Infantry Division. There he made a fateful decision.

Twice promoted ahead of his year group, Andre was one of the most promising Infantry officers in the Army. A decorated combat veteran, he was not slated to return to Viet Nam, but believed that, as a professional officer, he had a duty to command a battalion in combat. Thus, Andre volunteered in the fall of 1969. His clairvoyant wife begged him to go a month later or a month earlier, but not in October. He paid no heed. While commanding the “Currahees” battalion of the 506th Infantry in the 101st Airmobile Division, his battalion was surrounded by a much larger North Vietnamese regular force and fought for three weeks before Andre was allowed to evacuate his unit. Preparing to depart the fire base on the last helicopter out, Andre was hit by rocket fire and lost a leg. He died on 23 July 1970 on Fire Base Ripcord.

The Battle of Ripcord was the last large-scale combat involving U.S. forces in Vietnam. Whether or not his battalion should have been deployed on Ripcord was controversial, but that ambiguity did not weaken Andre’s sense of duty in the face of what he must have known was an ill- fated mission.

It is a painful irony that he brought the American and French military traditions to Viet Nam, the very place where they had been tragically
intertwined in the early 1950s. True to both traditions, Andre’s repeated bravery during three weeks of sustained close combat was remarkable. For his actions, he received the Medal of Honor, the only member of the Class of 1954 so honored. A number of other honors have also come his way. In 1993, Andre was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame at Ft. Lewis, WA. At Ft. Campbell, KY, a computerized training field and a state-of-the-art elementary school were named for him. At West Point, the Class of ’54 has established the Lucas Military Heritage Center as the class’s 50th reunion gift to the Military Academy.

In addition to his wife Madeleine and his two sons, John and William, Andre is survived by John’s two sons, Andre Cavaro Lucas II and
Ian Lucas.   — William E. Odom ’54

The Battle for Fire Base Ripcord
July 1-23,1970
At the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery stands the large and striking memorial to one of the nation’s most storied units, the
101st Airborne Division, the defenders of Bastogne. The impressive monument is dedicated to the division’s soldiers who gave their lives
and lists its most memorable battles in chronological order: St. Marie du Mont, Carentan, Eindhoven, Bastogne, Hue, Dak To, Dong Ap Bia and Ripcord. Of these battles, Ripcord is not known to the American public, nor even to many veterans of the Vietnam War.

What was Ripcord? It was a Fire Support Base located in the middle of the A Shau Valley, a mountainous and heavily jungled part of
South Vietnam adjacent to the Cambodian border. For years, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) used the A Shau Valley as a storage and
organizing area. The U. S. Army launched several major strikes into the valley, but never remained in force. In the spring of 1970, the
101st Airborne Division ordered Lt. Col. Andre C. Lucas, Commander, 2nd Bn, 506th Infantry to seize Hill 927 in the middle of the valley
and establish Fire Support Base Ripcord as the first step in a planned offensive.

Operating in the marginal weather of the monsoon season, Lt. Col. Lucas’s battalion made two air assault attempts on Hill 927 before
succeeding. The first effort by Co. A on March 12 failed. The company could not land on 927 because of dense vegetation and was diverted
to a nearby hill. Heavy enemy fires forced Co. A to be withdrawn three days later. Co. B was inserted onto Hill 927 late on April 1 but came
under heavy mortar, RPG and small arms fire which killed or wounded almost one-third of the company. Lt. Col. Lucas inserted two
more companies on nearby hills to support Co. B. At dusk, the troops on Hill 927 were ordered off the hill and linked up with the other
two companies. On April 11, Co. C assaulted Hill 927 without opposition. The enemy had vanished. Hill 927 became Ripcord.
As soon as Ripcord was occupied, Lt. Col. Lucas began building one of the most heavily fortified fire bases imaginable. The battalion
built well-constructed bunkers and laid numerous rows of concertina. Two 105-mm. artillery batteries were placed on the hill. On July
1st, the enemy reappeared with deadly strength and intensity. Shortly after 7:00 a.m. the first mortar salvo landed. The incoming fire
was intense and relentless. The troops on Ripcord responded with artillery fire and air support. The heavy supporting fires available to
the U. S. forces were insufficient to stop the NVA, who had used the three-month lull to surround the base and prepare their positions.
From July 1 until the evacuation on July 23, Ripcord became a battle of move and countermove. Two actions exemplified the intensity
of the fight. On July 12, Co D, 2/501 Infantry and Co A of 2/506 Infantry assaulted nearby Hill 805 to prevent its use by the NVA. After
Co. A moved to another hill, the NVA then assaulted Hill 805 for five consecutive nights. Co. D was withdrawn on July 17 after it had
suffered more than 50 percent casualties. On July 22-23, while fighting in a valley southeast of Ripcord, Co. A suffered 90 percent
casualties but held its position until it could be evacuated.

The end of Ripcord became apparent on July 20 when Co. A tapped a wire and discovered that the surrounding NVA force was almost a
division strong. Leaders of the 101st Airborne Division had to decide whether to reinforce or withdraw. Reinforcing Ripcord and hanging
on would probably have created more casualties than Dong Ap Bia (Hamburger Hill) of the previous year. On July 23, the 101st threw
every possible air asset and supporting fire into the evacuation. The enemy fire was so heavy, however, that the commanders switched from Chinooks to the far more agile Hueys to complete the withdrawal. Lt. Col. Lucas was mortally wounded by an artillery round just as the
final phase of evacuation began.

The tale of Ripcord is one of incredible courage on the part of the soldiers and leaders in the 2/506th Infantry and its supporting units.
The fighting was the most intense encountered anywhere in the Vietnam War. No unit could have responded better to the battle
challenges faced at Ripcord.

For further information on Ripcord, consult:  Keith Nolan, Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970, Random House
Publishing Group, 2000; Benjamin L. Harrison, Hell On a Hill Top:  America’s Last Major Battle in Vietnam, iUniverse Inc., 2004; and
Charles F. Hawkins, “Rendezvous at Ripcord,” VFW Magazine, June-July 1996.


Silver Star (#1) citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major (Infantry), [then Captain] Andre Cavaro Lucas (ASN: 0-70827), United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations in the Republic of Vietnam, on 17 July 1963. As an advisor, accompanying a Vietnamese Ranger Battalion on a military operation, Major Lucas demonstrated fortitude, perseverance, and professional skill when the friendly element made heavy contact with a superior enemy force. Upon the initial assault, he immediately assisted his counterpart in establishing a defense position to withstand the fierce attack of the numerically stronger insurgent force. During the 4 hours in which the Vietnamese unit was pinned down, Major Lucas bravely exposed himself to the gunfire by moving from man to man to encourage a concerted defense effort. With complete disregard for his own safety, he unhesitatingly exposed himself to mortar and automatic weapons fire to render first aid to wounded Vietnamese soldiers and to move them to safer positions. As the enemy moved to within 25 meters of the friendly position and annihilation appeared inevitable, Major Lucas displayed sound judgment and professional competence. Realizing that artillery fire would provoke greater retaliation by the enemy, he quickly called for armed helicopter support which decimated enemy troops. Despite the hazardous conditions, he continued to expose himself to the onslaught of enemy fire to observe the action and succeeded in rallying the friendly forces. When the armed helicopters had expended their ammunition, he arranged for them to land in the area and evacuate the wounded. His assistance, advice, and encouragement to the defenders served to stabilize their position and contributed significantly to the success of the mission. Major Lucas' conspicuous gallantry is in the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 11 (March 2, 1965)

Action Date: 17-Jul-63

Service: Army

Rank: Major

Company: Advisor

Silver Star (#2) citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Andre Cavaro Lucas (ASN: 0-70827), United States Army, for gallantry in action in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 July 1970. Colonel Lucas distinguished himself while serving as Commanding Officer of 2d Battalion (Airmobile), 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), during combat operations near Fire Support Base RIPCORD, Republic of Vietnam. When Company D of Colonel Lucas' unit attacked a hostile bunker complex, it met heavy resistance from an enemy force lodged in well-camouflaged positions. Since the bunkers were almost impossible to detect from the ground, Colonel Lucas flew at extremely low level over the area in his command and control helicopter, directing the fire of the ground troops. Despite the intense hostile fire directed at his aircraft, Colonel Lucas continued to support his men until extensive damage to his helicopter forced him to return to the firebase. His actions, however, were instrumental in keeping casualties to friendly personnel at a minimum, and in forcing the withdrawal of the enemy element. Colonel Lucas' personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division, General Orders No. 9993 (August 26, 1970)

Action Date: 7-Jul-70

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Headquarters and Headquarters Company

Battalion: 2d Battalion (Airmobile)

Regiment: 506th Infantry Regiment

Division: 101st Airborne Division

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