Solomon McFadden was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1945, and he was drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam War. McFadden was sent to join a tank crew in South Vietnam, with Thaddeus P. Roland being one of his crewmates. In 1968, their tank took part in a combat support mission during the Tet Offensive, and their tank was immobilized by NVA fire as it sat atop a hill. McFadden and Roland were the only survivors of the blast, and McFadden took out his combat pistol to hold off the attackers as Roland began to work on repairing the tank. McFadden bravely shot at dozens of NVA troops before being gunned down; Roland would later be killed by a grenade blast.