The VFW national membership has approved a resolution to support retired Army officer William P. Collier, Jr. for heroic actions in Vietnam that occurred in Duc District Headquarters Quang Ngai Province beginning on 16 September 1972.
William (Bill) P. Collier, who resides in Columbia, South Carolina, is a member of the Northeast Presbyterian Church Combat Veterans Support Group where his actions come to light during discussions. Members of the Group, especially retired Marine Col. Steven Vitali, thought that Colliers actions rose to the level of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The Daily Caller has this to say:
Maj. William P. “Bill” Collier’s 54-hour pitched battle against massed wave-attacks from a determined, numerically superior enemy force may yet to have inspired a book or screenplay (“yet” mind you). But a growing number of military officers from all services, various veterans’ organizations, congressmen, senators, and at least one South Carolina governor believe the Columbia, S.C. man’s epic defense of his 120-man position at Mo Duc in the Quang Ngai Province of South Vietnam, Sept. 16 – 18, 1972, was every bit as “desperate and dramatic” as Texas’ last-stand at the Alamo or the British Army’s defense of its isolated outpost at Rorke’s Drift.
And a little-known group which meets at Columbia’s Northeast Presbyterian Church (NEPC) is leading the charge to have Collier – today a retired U.S. Army colonel – awarded the nation’s highest military decoration (for battlefield heroism) for this particular action.
Last week, the Veterans of Foreign Wars approved a national resolution “supporting congressional action to award the Medal of Honor” to Collier.
The VFW is not the first to endorse the effort. Two years ago, NEPC’s Combat Veterans Support Group began the effort to have Collier’s award of the Silver Star (for his heroic leadership in the battle) upgraded to the Medal of Honor. An ambitious undertaking to be sure. But after learning of the two-day-six-hour fight, fellow combat-action veterans like retired U.S. Marine Col. Steve Vitali concluded that Collier’s action warranted more.
“Collier’s 120-man ARVN [Army of the Rep. of Vietnam] force defeated an NVA [North Vietnamese Army] force well over 2,000 men during a ferocious battle while twice repulsing NVA overruns of his position in hand-to-hand fighting,” says Vitali, who served operationally in both Iraq and Afghanistan. “Collier repeatedly called artillery and air on his own position while continuously being exposed to withering fire in order to reposition his force and direct fire-support.”
Moreover, Collier “saved countless civilian lives by his decision not to fire on the refugee camp being held hostage by NVA from which they massed their assaults against his compound.”
The stuff of heroic-legend some say – far beyond the ordinary – which is why the comparison to the Alamo where that garrison’s commander, Lt. Col. William Barret Travis (also a South Carolinian) penned the words “Victory or Death” while defending the mission fortress in 1836.
- VFW Backs Vietnam Vet. William Collier to Receive MoH (politisite.com)