|Andre Cavaro Lucas|
Army Medal of Honor
October 2, 1930|
|Died||July 23, 1970
Thừa Thiên Province, South Vietnam
|Place of burial||West Point Cemetery
(West Point, New York)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1948 – 1970|
|Commands held||2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry|
|Battles/wars||Vietnam War †|
|Awards||Medal of Honor
Silver Star (2)
Lieutenant Colonel Andre Cavaro Lucas (October 2, 1930 – July 23, 1970) was killed in action while serving as the commanding officer, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army, at Fire Support Base Ripcord in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam.
He was born in Washington D.C, and originally enlisted in the 26th Infantry Regiment in 1948. He graduated from the United States Military Academy, class of 1954, and received the Medal of Honor posthumously for extraordinary heroism during the last 23 days of his life.
Medal of Honor citation
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 July 23, 1970. Entered service at: West point, N.Y. Born: October 2, 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.
- LTC Lucas' name can be found on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ("The Wall") on Panel 08W – Row 046.
- The Andre Lucas Elementary School in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky is named in honor of LTC Lucas.
- "Andre Lucas". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- A recent tribute to Lucas by William E. Odom was published in TAPS, May/June 2005. Odom also dedicated his 1992 book On Internal War to Lucas.
- "Andre Lucas, LTC, Army". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 2006-07-15.
- "Andre Lucas Elementary School". Fort Campbell Schools. Archived from the original on 24 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-07.
- "Andre C. Lucas". www.west-point.org. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
- "Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970" by Keith W. Nolan, Presidio Press, 2000, ISBN 0-89141-642-0
- "Hell On A Hill Top: America's Last Major Battle In Vietnam" by Major General Benjamin L. Harrison, iUniverse Press (available from FSB Ripcord Association)
- "FSB Ripcord Association – Archived quarterly publications in pdf format". Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Siege at Firebase Ripcord", War Stories with Oliver North, Fox News Productions, product # FOX25004600 (video/DVD)
- "Lucas Military Heritage Center dedication program – PDF format" (PDF). Retrieved September 24, 2010.