Alwyn Cashe’s case for the Medal of Honor began almost as soon as he was awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor, for actions in Iraq in 2005.
Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe and his soldiers were on patrol in Samarra, Iraq, on 17 October, 2005, when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle hit an IED.
Though he was covered in diesel fuel and his uniform burned off his body, Cashe crawled out of the Bradley. Under a hail of enemy gunfire and despite certain death from the flames baking his body, Cashe returned to climb inside the Bradley, repeatedly pulling out soldiers until he had all six.
He left no one behind.
With burns over 70 percent of his body, Cashe died three weeks later on 8 November, 2005, at San Antonio Military Medical Center in Texas.
Alwyn Cashe’s Case For Medal of Honor (audio)
*CASHE, ALWYN C. (KIA)
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Alwyn C. Cashe, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 17 October 2005, in Iraq.
Sergeant First Class Cashe was drenched in fuel after an IED blast ignited the Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s fuel cell, during a patrol in Samarra, Iraq. After the vehicle came to a stop and erupted in flames, he helped the driver out of the hatch and extinguished his flames. In the back of the Bradley were six more soldiers and a translator.
As flames engulfed the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, without regard for his personal safety, Sergeant First Class Cashe rushed to the back of the vehicle, reached into the hot flames and started pullout out his Soldiers. The flames spread to his fuel-soaked uniform and spread quickly over his body. Despite terrible pain, Sergeant First Class Cashe placed one injured soldier on the ground and returned to the burning vehicle to retrieve another burning soldiers, all the while, he was himself still on fire.
Sergeant First Class Cashe is credited with saving the lives of six soldiers, evacuating them despite his own injuries and severe burns. He died of his wounds on November 8, 2006.
See also the Army Times writeup of the group making Alwyn Cashe’s case for Medal of Honor.