It was 47 years ago, that US Army Special Forces SGT Brian Buker would lose his life in a battle for a Viet Cong mountain stronghold at Nui Khet. For his actions in the three-day battle, Buker would posthumously be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Buker was killed by a combination of rocket and mortar fire while leading numerous charges against a bunker complex at the top of the mountain while acting as a platoon leader with the 513th Company of the 5th Mobile Strike Force Command (Mike Force).

Buker was born on November 3, 1949, in Benton, Maine and came from a military background. His three older brothers Victor, Gerald, and Alan had all enlisted and gone to Vietnam and had returned home. Buker joined right after high school at the age of 17, he also went to Vietnam returning safely. But he went back for a second tour.

As the story goes, Buker arrived in Vietnam and was told he was going to be diverted from the 5th Special Forces Group to the 4th Infantry Division. Buker, as young soldiers are prone to do, took matters into his own hands.

He hitch-hiked across Vietnam to Nha Trang, where the 5th Special Forces Group had their headquarters. He went with his hat in hand to the Mobile Strike Force Command (MIKE Force) compound next to the Group Headquarters and got an interview with the Company Sergeant Major.

He voiced a compelling argument in his interview and his orders were immediately changed to the 5th SFG(A) MIKE Force – Detachment B-55, immediately.

It was here that he’d find himself at the end of March of 1970 during Operation INTREPID, the code name for the storming of the Nui Khet mountain fortress which was part of Seven Mountains.