One of the guys in the SOG group shared this photo he has restored of the SOG radio relay site. Hickory was over run and in the process, the actions of SOG Green Beret, John Cavaiani earned the Medal of Honor.
Jon Robert Cavaiani (August 2, 1943 – July 29, 2014) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.
Cavaiani was born in Murphys, County Offaly, Ireland, and went to England a short time afterwards. He left England for the United States in 1947, and in 1953 moved to the small farming community of Ballico, California to be with his stepfather, Ugo Cavaiani. In 1961 Ugo formally adopted Jon and in 1968 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1969, Cavaiani joined the US Army. In 1970, he was deployed to Vietnam with the Special Forces and by June 4, 1971 was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Task Force 1 Advisory Element, USARV Training Advisory Group. This unit was formerly known as Command and Control North, MACV-SOG. On that day, in the Republic of Vietnam, his platoon came under intense enemy attack at Hill 950. Cavaiani organized the unit’s defense and, when evacuation by helicopter became necessary, he voluntarily stayed on the ground and directed the aircraft, which successfully evacuated most of the platoon. Cavaiani and a small group were left behind. During a major enemy attack the next morning, he ordered the remaining men to escape while he stayed and provided suppressive fire to cover their retreat. He was captured and spent the next two years as a prisoner of war.