A photo taken in the NDP (Night Defensive Position, or perimeter) of the 2/28th Inf. prior to the Battle of Ong Thanh. The officer 2nd from the left was the Battalion Commander, LTC Terry Allen Jr. Next to him (center) was Major Don Holleder. The officer on the far right gesturing was 1LT Clark Welch, Delta Co. Commander. The other two officers were the Brigade Commander, COL Newman, and Brigadier General Coleman, Assistant Division Commander, who were being briefed.
In the battle to follow, LTC Allen and the HQ contingent he took out with him were all killed. Major Holleder was killed while trying to rescue wounded soldiers. LT Welch was wounded in three extremities and the chest. The combat photographer who took this photo, SP4 Verland Gilbertson, was also killed in the battle. At least 60 US soldiers were killed and at least another 75 were wounded out of our single under-strength battalion.
Unfortunately, the First Division politics of the time kept LT Welch from receiving the Medal of Honor. He was awarded a Silver Star Medal. Many years later Brigadier General Jim Shelton gathered eyewitnesses and put together a Medal of Honor recommendation. After years of review he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. You can read more information about his actions here: http://projects.militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=5015
Besides the Distinguished Service Cross, during his distinguished career LTC (retired) Welch was awarded 3 Silver Star Medals, 5 Bronze Star Medals and 5 Purple Heart Medals, in additon to many other awards. He was an outstanding combat leader and is one of America's heroes.