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First Name: Andre

Last Name: Lucas

Birthplace: Washington, DC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: West Point, NY
Middle Name: Cavaro

Date of Birth: 02 October 1930

Date of Death: 23 July 1970

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Years Served: 1948 - 1970
Andre Cavaro Lucas

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1954

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Andre Cavaro Lucas
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Andre Cavaro Lucas was born on 2 October 1930 in Washington, DC, and was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in the class of 1954.

On 23 July 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Cavaro Lucas was serving as Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, at Fire Support Base Ripcord in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. For his heroic actions during the last 23 days of his life, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor

Citation: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Andre Cavaro Lucas (ASN: 0-70827), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Fire Support Base Ripcord, Republic of Vietnam, from 1 - 23 July 1970. Although the fire base was constantly subjected to heavy attacks by a numerically superior enemy force throughout this period, Lieutenant Colonel Lucas, forsaking his own safety, performed numerous acts of extraordinary valor in directing the defense of the allied position. On one occasion, he flew in a helicopter at treetop level above an entrenched enemy directing the fire of one of his companies for over three 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 Lieutenant Colonel Lucas prevented the company from being encircled and destroyed by a larger enemy force. On another occasion, Lieutenant Colonel Lucas attempted to rescue a crewman trapped in a burning helicopter. As the flames in the. aircraft spread, and enemy fire became intense, Lieutenant Colonel 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. Lieutenant Colonel 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. Lieutenant Colonel 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 United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 33 (September 6, 1974)

Medals, Awards, Badges & Tabs

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge
Special Forces Tab
Ranger Tab

Silver Star Medal Citation (1st of 2 Awards)

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)

Silver Star Medal Citation (2nd of 2 Awards)

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)


● The name Andre Cavaro Lucas is inscribed on Panel 08W - Line 46 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
● The Andre Lucas Elementary School a Fort Campbell, KY, is named in honor of LTC Lucas.
● A tribute to Andre Lucas by USMA 1954 classmate Lieutenant General William E. Odom (USA Ret.) [Honoree Record ID 2916], was published in TAPS, May/June 2005.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant Colonel Andre Cavaro Lucas was killed in action on 23 July 1970. He is buried at United States Military Academy Post Cemetery in West Point, Orange County, NY.

Honoree ID: 1017   Created by: MHOH




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