University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Roy P. Benavidez Papers, 1943-2007



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Benavidez, Roy P.
Title: Roy P. Benavidez Papers
Dates: 1943-2007
Abstract: The Roy P. Benavidez Papers contain correspondence, photographs, topical files, military documents, honors and awards, writings, printed material, LP albums, and memorabilia documenting his career in the United States Army and his receipt of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War.
Accession No.: 2007-127; 2009-023
Extent 9 feet, 6 inches
Language Materials are in English and Spanish.
Repository Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Roy P. Benavidez was born on August 5, 1935 in Lindenau near Cuero, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Army in June 1955 and served in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and the United States.

On May 2, 1968, in an area west of Loc Ninh, Republic of Vietnam, Staff Sergeant Benavidez was monitoring a twelve-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team, as part of the Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. The team came under heavy enemy gunfire and requested emergency extraction. Staff Sergeant Benavidez volunteered to return to the area and assisted with extracting the troops. Under considerable automatic weapon and grenade fire, and severely wounded in the head, legs, abdomen, and back, Benavidez redirected the troops, retrieved classified documents from the dead team leader, and helped load the dead and the wounded on a helicopter that minutes later crashed due to the pilot becoming mortally wounded. Despite his life-threatening injuries, Benavidez secured the safety of the soldiers and began calling in aircraft for another extraction attempt, which was finally successful. Because of Benavidez’s feats of valor and bravery beyond the call of duty, the lives of at least eight men were saved. On July 24, 1968 Benavidez was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor, the Army’s second highest honor. Upon learning that his Commander had twice recommended him unsuccessfully for the Congressional Medal of Honor, Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez and his supporters supplied the Department of the Army with additional eye-witness testimonies of his actions on May 2, 1968 and with the support of other military personnel and elected officials, Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez was finally awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on February 24, 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.

During and after his career in the military, Benavidez was active in veteran issues. After receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, Benavidez was in great demand as a speaker to schools, military and civic groups. He was honored throughout the country and received letters from students, service personnel, and citizens throughout the world. He was the subject of numerous articles and his life and experiences were chronicled in three books. Medal of Honor Recipient, Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez died on November 29, 1998 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 63.


Scope and Contents

The Roy P. Benavidez Papers contain correspondence, photographs, topical files, military documents, honors and awards, writings, printed material, LP albums, and memorabilia documenting his career in the United States Army and his receipt of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War. The bulk of the collection contains documentation regarding his interest in veterans’ affairs and career as a public speaker after receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor and includes programs from public appearances and dedications, awards, articles about Benavidez, fan mail, and other tributes. Of particular interest is the documentation and correspondence on behalf of Benavidez from elected officials, military service personnel, and citizens in support of his being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The arrangement closely reflects the filing system and manner in which Benavidez categorized and filed documents. The Correspondence and Subject Files listed by state contain letters of support from citizens of that state, as well as arrangements for public appearances in that state.

Forms part of the Institute for Studies in American Military History.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The Benavidez (Roy P.) Papers, 1943-2007, The Institute for Studies in American Military History, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Inventory

box
4Zc194 Clippings, 1983-1984, 1993, 1998, 2001
Congressional Medal of Honor (CMOH)
Correspondence & Statements
Assorted, 1974-1980
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), 1979
Robert S. Bell, 1974-1975
Roy Benavidez, 1978, undated
Lloyd Bentsen, 1977-1979
Donald Brenner, 1979
Donald G. Brotzman, 1975
George Bush, 1979
Francis J. Calverase, Lt. Col., 1976-1977
Chandler D. Carter, 1977
Patrick Cassidy, Lt. Gen., 1974-1976
Jerry Cottingham, 1974-1975, 1979
William R. Darling, 1977
Ralph Drake, 1974
Jerry Ewing, 1975
O.C. Fisher, 1974
Henry B. Gonzalez, 1974-1977
Michael L. Grant, 1975
Vernon R. Hull, Lt. Col., 1979-1980
Edward Kennedy, 1978
Joe Martin, 1976-1978
James W. Mason, Capt., 1975
E.C. Meyer, 1980
Jesse W. Naul, 1975
Bill Patman, 1980
Ron Paul, 1980
J.J. Pickle, 1974-1980
Ron Radke, 1975
Ben T. Reyes, 1977
Raymond F. Stipsky, undated
Olin E. Teague, 1976
Robin Tornow, Col., 1988
John Tower, Senator, 1975-1978
Roger E. Waggie, 1968, 1976
Joe Wyatt, Rep., 1979
John Young, 1972-1981
John Young, 1977-1978
Defense Department Form 1369, 1974-1977, 1981, undated
Disabled American Veterans (DAV), 1977-1979
Department of the Army, 1974
Miscellaneous-Distinguished Service Cross (5 folders), 1968, 1974-1978
Miscellaneous (articles, letters), 1978-1979
Miscellaneous Statements & Narratives, 1968, 1975-1981, undated
Resolution, 1960, 1979-1980
Roy Benavidez, 1968-1970, 1974, 1979-1980
Department of the Army
Enlisted Efficiency Reports (EER), 1971-1976
Letters of Appreciation & Awards, 1958, 1964-1967, 1971-1978
Medical Board, 1976, 1983
Military Personnel Records Jacket, 1957-1976
Miscellaneous
Award, Letters, Clippings, 1974, 1980-1984, 1988
Certificates, Discharge, Programs, Letters, 1958, 1961-1967, 1974, 1983, 1995-1997, undated
Letters, Clippings, Photos, Resume, Certificates, Eulogy, Contracts, 1984, 1991-1993, 1997, 2007
Roy Benavidez, 1981-1987, 1993-1995, 2001-2002
Roy Benavidez, 1981-1996, undated
School Tax Assessment Practices Board, 1979
Social Security, 1962, 1969-1976
Texas Employment Commission, 1968-1977, undated
Publications & Printed Matter
Viva , 1986
Correspondence & Subject Files
Oregon, 1983, 1988-1989, 1996-1997
Texas
1980-1981 (1989)
1981 (1983, 1993-1996)
1982
1983 (2 folders)
1984
1986 (1994)
1989 (1981)
box
4Zc195 1995 (1988, 1994-1997)(3 folders)
Undated, 1982-1983, 1987-1988, 1994-1996 (2 folders)
Miscellaneous (Roger Eugene Waggie), 1997-1999
Accolades
Appearances and Proclamations, 1946, 1980-1987, 1989, 1993
Letter of Commendation, 1957, 1964-1967, 1971-1976
Proclamations and Certificates, 1981-1987, 1991
Biographical
Clippings, 1982, 1989, undated
Civic & Non-Profit Groups (MSG Roy P. Benavides Scholarship Fund, United States Ranger Corps), 1981, 1988
Correspondence
General, 1987, 1990-1991, 1997
Publicity, Speaking Engagements & Books, 1989, 1991
Event Programs, 1985, 1989, 1991-1994
Military & Veterans Documents & Correspondence, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1994, undated
Miscellaneous (Book Covers, First Day of Issue Stamps), 1984, 1986, 1991, 1996, undated
Publications & Printed Matter
Special Operations Recipients of the Medal of Honor, 1997
Religious Papers, 1994
Correspondence (unsent?), 1998
Event Programs, 1982-1983, 1993, 1998
Funeral (eulogy, program), 1998
Miscellaneous (Military Organizations and Tributes, First Day of Issue Stamp), 1983, 1998-1999, undated
Publications & Printed Matter
The Drop, 1994
VFW, 1998, 1992
Vietnam, 1991
box
4Zc196 Sympathy & Get Well Cards/Letters (includes drawings and other enclosures), 1998
Accolades, 1981-1985, 1992
Calendar, 1988
Clippings
1981
1981, 1983-1984
1981-1987
1984-1987
1993-1995
Correspondence & Subject Files
Business Cards
Congressional Medal of Honor Society, 1986-1987, 1993, 1998
Letters from Students, 1987
Memorial Day Hero Street USA, 1987
Miscellaneous (clippings of articles, letters, part of medical record, resume, inspirational writings), 1981-1985, undated
North Dakota, 1987, 1995
Ohio, 1981-1984, 1988, 1995-1997
Oklahoma, 1981-1989, 1995-1997, undated
Panama, 1957, 1988, 1994
Programs, 1982, 1984, 1986-1989
Veteran’s Administration Units, 1986-1987
box
4Zc197 Washington, 1982-1983, 1987, 1995-1996
Wisconsin, 1983, 1988-1989, 1995-1997
Miscellaneous (First Day of Issue Stamps, Military Information & Promotional items), 1983, 1996, 1998, undated
Noel Brent, Inc. (publishers), 1981
Publications
El Campo Magazine, circa 1988
Hispanic, 1995
Medal of Honor, 1991
Soldiers, 1992
VFW, 1992
Vietnam, 1991
Calendar, 1984
Correspondence & Subject Files
Army Post Office (APO), 1996
Book (Medal of Honor: A Vietnam Warrior’s Story), 1995
Canada, 1988, 1995-1997
Miscellaneous, 1976, 1981-1986, 1996, undated
Miscellaneous, 1980-1987, 1994, undated
Miscellaneous, 1980-1983
Norway, 1988, 1995-1996
Panama, 1988, 1995-1996
Pennsylvania, 1981-1988, 1994-1996
Social Security (letter signed by Vice President Bush), 1976, 1981-1988, 1990, 1994, 1996
Speaking Requests, 1996
Student Letters, 1982, 1988, 1995
Utah, 1983
Vermont, 1995
Virginia (discharge papers, CMOH, Statler Bros autograph), 1976, 1980-1988, 1995-1997
Washington, D.C. (inaugural invitation, CMOH Roll), 1979-1995
Wyoming, 1994, 1996
Publications & Printed Matter
Army-Navy Football Program, 1981
Vida Nuestra, 1981
box
4Zc198 Sympathy & Get Well Cards/Letters (includes drawings and other enclosures), 1998
Correspondence & Subject Files
Delaware, 1985, 1996
Florida, 1981-1988, 1992-1997
Georgia, 1980-1985, 1988, 1994-1997
Germany, 1988, 1995
Hawaii, 1981-1982, 1995
Idaho, 1996
Illinois, 1984, 1988-1989, 1994-1997
Indiana, 1983, 1988-1989, 1994-1997
Iowa, 1994-1995, 1999, 2003
Kansas, 1984, 1988, 1996
box
4Zc199 Kentucky, 1981-1983, 1995-1997
Korea, 1994-1996
Louisiana, 1981-1988, 1995
Maine, 1984
Maryland, 1981-1989, 1995-1996
Massachusetts, 1984, 1994-1997
Michigan, 1988, 1991-1996
Minnesota, 1983, 1988, 1994, 1997
Mississippi, 1995
Missouri, 1982-1989, 1995-1997
Nebraska, 1985, 1995-1998
Nevada, 1989, 1995
New Hampshire, 1983
New Jersey, 1981-1988, 1995-1997
New Mexico, 1981-1983, 1994-1996
New York, 1981-1989, 1995-1997
North Carolina, 1981-1988, 1995-1996
Accolades (Program, Congressional Medal of Honor), 1981
Biographical Information, undated
Book Reviews & Movies, 1943, 1994-1997
Correspondence & Subject Files
Alabama, 1983, 1996, undated
Alaska, 1997
Army Post Office (APO), NY, 1989, 1996
Arizona, 1981, 1983, 1987-1988, 1995-1997
Arkansas, 1983, 1994-1996
Australia, 1983, 1986-1988, 1994-1996
California, 1982-1989, 1994-1997
Colorado, 1985-1987, 1995-1996
Connecticut, 1983, 1997
Corona Publishing, 1986, 1988, 1990
Hawaii, 1996
Medal of Honor, 1994-1995 (copies from 1969-1986)
Puerto Rico, 1995
Rhode Island, 1981, 1984, 1996
South Carolina, 1988, 1994-1997
Tennessee, 1981-1984, 1995-1996
Texas
1982
1985 (1985, 1995-1997)
1987
1988 (1985)
Undated (1986-1988, 1994)
box
4Zc200 Veteran’s Administration, 1989, undated
Life Story of Roy Perez Benavides, 1981, 1994
Political Affiliations, 1982
Accolades
Dedications, 1998-2001
Memorials, 1998
Programs, 2002-2003
Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, 2001
US Army Reserves Center, 2000-2001
Bibliography (biography)
Book Research, 1981-1985, 1995-1996
Clippings, 1998, 2000-2001
Congressional Medal of Honor Society (Directory, Year Book), 1999-2000
Correspondence & Subject Files
Arizona, 1993
Army Post Office Armed Forces Pacific (APO AP), 1993
California, 1992-1994
Colorado, 1993
Extras (The Traveling Wall exhibit, note), 1993, undated
Illinois, 1992
Indiana, 1994
Karnes County Historical Museum, circa 1986
Maine, 1992
Maryland, 1993
Michigan, 1993
Nebraska, 1992
New Jersey, 1994
New Mexico, 1992-1994
North Carolina, 1993
Tennessee, 1992
Texas, 1992-1994
Virginia, 1993
Wisconsin, 1993-1994
Medal of Honor, 1973-1980
Military Calendars, 2000-2001
Miscellaneous (article, collage, letters, brochures, programs), 1989, undated
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), 2001
Publications & Printed Matter
Hispanic, 1993, 1996, 2001
National Association of Hispanic Publications, 1994
Accolades
Dedication & Memorial Programs, 1999, 2001
Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, 2001
Correspondence, 1985, 1999-2001
Clippings, 1989-2001
Miscellaneous (brochures, stationery, Hispanic Veterans Working Group), 1995
Publications & Printed Matter
Hispanic, 2001
The Retired Officer, 1984
Soldier of Fortune, 1999
WE Lifestyle Magazine, 1999
Veteranos National Tour (Theatre Production), 2002
Writings (John Craig or Pete Aguilar), 1994
American Legion, 1981-1982
Congressional Medal Honor Society (Directory), 1991-1993
Memorial, 1998
Miscellaneous (business cards)
Programs
CMOH Recipients, 1997
Boys Club (signed by Vice President George Bush to Noel Benavidez), 1985
Publications & Printed Matter
Texas Monthly, 1986
Artifacts
box
2.325/T58c Oversize (Accolades, Calendars, Pencil Sketch, Photograph, Posters), 1957, 1987, undated
box
3Y130 Oversize Photographs
box
3T4.3 Photographs
box
4Zc166 Money Collection, Vietnamese Currency
box
2.325/R54 Sound Recordings (LP Records)
box
4Zc200 [2009-023]:
Biographical sketch of Roy P. Benavidez, by Master Sergeant Lawrence Hall and Sergeant Major Ronald Brooks, July 21, 2007