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Stephen Wesley Pless



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Barrancas National Cemetery

Born:  September 06, 1939 at Newnan, GA

Entered Service in the US Marine Corps from  Atlanta, GA

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Vietnam War For heroism August 19, 1967 at Quang Nai, Vietnam

Died:  July 20, 1969 at the age of 29

During an escort mission Major Pless monitored an emergency call that four American soldiers, stranded on a nearby beach, were being overwhelmed by a large Viet Cong force. He flew to the scene and found 30 to 50 enemy soldiers in the open, some of them bayoneting and beating the downed Americans. Major Pless launched a devastating attack against the enemy force, killing or wounding many of the enemy and driving the remainder back into a tree line. His rocket and machinegun attacks were made at such low levels that the aircraft flew through debris created by explosions from its rockets. Seeing one of the wounded soldiers gesture for assistance, he maneuvered his helicopter into a position between the wounded men and the enemy, providing a shield which permitted his crew to retrieve the wounded. During the rescue the enemy directed intense fire at the helicopter and rushed the aircraft again and again, closing to within a few feet before being beaten back. When the wounded men were aboard, Major Pless maneuvered the helicopter out to sea. Before it became safely airborne, the overloaded aircraft settled four times into the water. Displaying superb airmanship, he finally got the helicopter aloft.



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Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner