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Donald O. Dencker, Deadeye

Co L, 382 Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division, U.S. Army

Leyte, Okinawa

1st Lieutenant 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion




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"My most recent and most gratifying effort for my Deadeye buddies was the January 10th, 2001, approval of the long-delayed presidential Unit Citation for the 96th Infantry Division for its heroic service during the Battle of Okinawa. After World War II ended, the XXIV Corps had initiated the award of the Presidential Unit Citation to the 96th. This 1946 award had reached the War Department in Washington DC, but for an unknown reason was never signed by the Army Chief of Staff. Our 96th Infantry Division history, published in February 1947, lists the award as "pending." Left in limbo, veterans of the division found out years later that the award did not exist. Then back in the 1970s, some Deadeyes attempted to have the award approved, but with no success. Finally, however, in the summer of 1999, I renewed effort for this well-deserved unit recognition, and have finally achieved our goal.

Although the news of the Presidential Unit Citation Award is too late for thousands of Deadeyes who have passed away, the accomplishments of the 96th Infantry Division and its "citizen soldiers" will long live in the country's memory and in its recorded pages."


An Army General Order Confirming the Award of a Presidential Unit Citation to the 96th Infantry Division was issued in December 2001." We have received the Presidential Unit Citation Certificate and Citation documents. The 96th Infantry Division is now one of only 4 entire Army Division awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for heroic action during World War II. Pertinent documents are posted below.

The U.S. Army formally presented The Presidential Unit Citation during an awards ceremony on July 27, 2001 at our Omaha, Nebraska Reunion.

You can read the entire text of the Presidential Unit Citation by Clicking Here