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Full Text Citations For Award of
 

The Air Force Cross in Vietnam

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OLDS, ROBIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Robin Olds, Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Strike Mission Commander in the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, against the Paul Doumer Bridge, a major north-south transportation link on Hanoi's Red River in North Vietnam, on 11 August 1967. On that date, Colonel Olds led his strike force of eight F-4C aircraft against a key railroad and highway bridge in North Vietnam. Despite intense, accurately directed fire, multiple surface-to-air missile attacks on his force, and continuous harassment by MiG fighters defending the target, Colonel Olds, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill, led his force through to help destroy this significant bridge. As a result the flow of war materials into this area was appreciably reduced. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Colonel Olds reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: July 14, 1922 at Honolulu, Hawaii
Home Town: Hampton, Virginia
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, 4@ Silver Stars, Legion of Merit, 6@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 40@ Air Medals, Air Force commendation Medal


OLSEN, DON P.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Don P. Olsen, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH- 3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 5 October 1968. On that date, Major Olsen volunteered to attempt the extremely hazardous extraction of a Special Forces Team after their insertion helicopter had been shot down and the team surrounded by hostile forces. Despite low cloud cover which prevented the use of fighter escort, Major Olsen, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage and professional skill, penetrated the hostile area and established a hover adjacent to the burning aircraft. In the face of hostile fire, Major Olsen held a prolonged hover and effected the rescue of the two crash survivors and the six surviving team members. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Olsen reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), Air Medal, 2@ Air Force Commendation Medals


O'MARA, OLIVER E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Oliver E. O'Mara, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in Southeast Asia on 5 October 1966. On that date, Captain O'Mara, flying an HH-3E rescue helicopter as Rescue Commander, voluntarily flew into a known area of intense hostile activity in an effort to rescue a downed American pilot. While under intense small arms and heavy automatic weapons fire, during which his rescue aircraft received numerous hits, he made repeated attempts to reach the downed airman. Only after his aircraft received extensive damage which rendered it incapable of rescue operations, did he withdraw from the area; however, he then directed another helicopter to the site for a successful pickup, Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the opposing force, Captain O'Mara reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Alamogordo, New Mexico


ORRELL, BENNIE D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Bennie D. Orrell, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-53C helicopter in action near Tchepone, Laos, on 13 April 1972. Captain Orrell voluntarily and with great courage, piloted his rescue helicopter against seemingly insurmountable odds in support of the search and rescue mission of a downed American pilot. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Orrell Successfully maneuvered his aircraft to a hover over the survivor and retrieved the downed pilot, virtually from the hands of his would-be captors. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Orrell reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


PARR, RALPH S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Ralph S. Parr, Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing force as an F-4C Aircraft Commander and Commanding Officer of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 March 1968. On that date, Colonel Parr participated in a flight providing cover for cargo aircraft. Upon arrival over the target, the forward air controller advised the flight that the airfield was under heavy attack by hostile mortar positions, which were located a few feet below a ridge line. Although the target area was covered with dense smoke and haze, Colonel Parr successfully destroyed one mortar position on his first pass, as six well-camouflaged heavy automatic weapons opened fire on him. Although sustaining severe damage to his aircraft, he pressed his second attack and destroyed another mortar position. Again, completely disregarding his personal safety and the withering hostile gun fire, Colonel Parr succeeded in destroying six heavy caliber automatic weapons positions. In between passes, his accurate and timely directions to his wingman effectively insured the accuracy of ordnance delivery in close proximity to the friendly forces. Only after delivering all of his ordnance at point-blank range in eight consecutive passes did Colonel Parr terminate his attack. By destroying these strategically located weapons, he not only impaired the hostile force's capability to impede the resupply of Khe Sanh, but also reduced further losses to friendly cargo aircraft and crews. Through his superb airmanship, aggressiveness, and extraordinary heroism, Colonel Parr reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: July 1, 1924 at Portsmouth, Virginia
Home Town: Portsmouth, Virginia
Personal Awards: Distinguished Service Cross (Korea), Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Korea), 3@ Legion of Merit, 9@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, 39@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal


PERSONNETT, JOSEPH A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Joseph A. Personnett, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller of the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action at Mo Duc, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 and 17 September 1972. On that night, Captain Personnett flew two sorties in his lightly armed OV-10 reconnaissance aircraft in monsoon weather conditions to support a small allied unit undergoing heavy ground assault by a hostile force twenty times its size. Using every means available, naval and ground artillery, tactical air support, and finally his own light internal ordnance, Captain Personnett, in desperation, disregarding extremely intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, made repeated devastating low level attacks which stopped the hostile advance short of the friendly perimeter. Credited with two hundred and sixty-five confirmed hostile personnel killed, and twenty mortars and guns destroyed before his heavily battle-damaged aircraft was finally shot down, Captain Personnett's achievements were recognized by the Ground Commander as having personally saved his position and the lives of one hundred and twenty defenders. Through his superb airmanship, aggressiveness, and extraordinary heroism, Captain Personnett reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 4@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 5@ Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart


*PETERSON, DELBERT RAY (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Delbert Ray Peterson (FV-3130436), Captain [then First Lieutenant], U.S. Air Force (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Co-Pilot of an AC-47 aircraft of the 4th Air Commando Squadron (Fire Support), 14th Air Commando Wing, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near A Shau, Republic of Vietnam, on 9 March 1966. On that date, Lieutenant Peterson and crew responded to a desperate plea for close air support from the embattled defenders of the Special Forces Camp at A Shau. Arriving over the battle scene, Lieutenant Peterson's aircraft penetrated a four hundred foot cloud ceiling to reach the beleaguered, mountain-shrouded fort. Shortly after making a firing pass at treetop level, the aircraft's right engine was torn from its mounts by savage .50 caliber anti-aircraft fire. Second later the left engine was lost and the pilot crash-landed the aircraft on a nearby mountain slope. Realizing that the Viet Cong would soon swarm to the crash site, Lieutenant Peterson displayed an utter disregard for his own safety as he refused to abandon a badly injured fellow crew member. The Viet Cong attacked immediately but were beaten back by the downed crew. During the second assault, one crew member was killed and another seriously wounded, but again the Viet Cog were repelled. As they pressed their third attack, Lieutenant Peterson, in a last ditch effort, gallantly and heroically charged the hostile forces. The intensity of hostile fire immediately diminished. Largely through his determined resistance, rescue aircraft were able to pick up the surviving crew members. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the opposing force, Lieutenant Peterson reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Department of the Air Force, Special Order GB-189 (July 13, 1966
Born: May 11, 1939 at Manson, Iowa
Home Town: Maple Plain, Minnesota
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam),. Purple Heart, 4@ Air Medals


*POGREBA, DEAN ANDREW (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Dean Andrew Pogreba (FR-52644), Lieutenant Colonel [then Major], U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Pilot of an F-105D aircraft while serving on temporary duty with the 36th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in Southeast Asia on 5 October 1965. On that date, Lieutenant Colonel Pogreba participated as a pilot and mission coordinator for a strike against a highly significant military target. Despite the extreme difficulty of overcast cloud layers, haze, and rain showers, Lieutenant Colonel Pogreba flew at low level through mountain passes to the target area while encountering devastating automatic weapons and anti-aircraft artillery fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Lieutenant Colonel Pogreba climbed to 9,000 feet into over-hanging clouds, which made him highly vulnerable to the hostile ground fire, and delivered his ordnance directly on the target. Lieutenant Colonel Pogreba then emerged from the clouds and though still subjected to intensive ground fire, assisted the other members of his flight in their weapons deliver, assuring complete destruction of this vital target. His courageous actions and determination are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American fighting man under attack by an opposing armed force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Major Pogreba reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: March 16, 1922 at Three Forks, Montana
Home Town: Three Forks, Montana
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 5@ Air Medals, Purple Heart, 2@ Air Force Commendation Medals


POLING, RICHARD L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Richard L. Poling, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller of the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action at Mo Duc, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 and 17 September 1972. On that night, Captain Polling flew two sorties in his lightly armed OV-10 reconnaissance aircraft in monsoon weather conditions to support a small allied unit undergoing heavy ground assault by a hostile force twenty times its size. Using every means available, naval and ground artillery, tactical air support, and finally his own light internal ordnance, Captain Polling, in desperation, disregarding extremely intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, made repeated devastating low level attacks which stopped the hostile advance short of the friendly perimeter. Credited with two hundred and sixty-five confirmed hostile personnel killed, and twenty mortars and guns destroyed before his heavily battle-damaged aircraft was finally shot down, Captain Polling's achievements were recognized by the Ground Commander as having personally saved his position and the lives of one hundred and twenty defenders. Through his superb airmanship, aggressiveness, and extraordinary heroism, Captain Polling reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Distinguished Flying Cross, 5@ Air Medals


PRICE, DONALD S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Donald S. Price, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 33d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, on Temporary Duty Assignment to DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, as Navigator aboard an HU-16B aircraft, in the Gulf of Tonkin, off shore of North Vietnam, on 14 March 1966. On that date, Captain Price participated in a successful rescue of the downed crew of an F-4C aircraft, in hostile waters. As they approached the area, the downed crew members were sighted. A determination was made that an open sea landing would be necessary to effect a successful rescue. At this time, a force of approximately 25 motorized sampans were observed heading toward the downed pilots. After a full stall landing was made and while they were maneuvering toward the nearest survivor, a heavy barrage of hostile gun fire was directed at the aircraft from the nearby sampans. Moments later, the aircraft was struck, exploded, and was almost immediately engulfed in flames. As the heat from the fire became intense, the crew was forced to abandon the aircraft. As Captain Price jumped into the water, he encountered the F-4C pilot who had discarded both his life raft and life jacket and was struggling to remain afloat. Captain Price towed the pilot on his back away from the burning aircraft and continued to render assistance while awaiting rescue. Several minutes later, helicopters arrived on the scene and Captain Price, although in great pain from multiple wounds received in the explosion, remained in the water to complete his mission of rescuing the downed F-4C pilot. He assisted the pilot into a sling and the helicopter departed. Captain Price was now the sole survivor in the water and artillery shells began to fall around him, preventing rescue by another helicopter. As he struggled into a nearby raft, the sampans began converging on him forcing him to re-enter the water and swim seaward. At this time, two F-4C aircraft and a helicopter arrived in the area. While the F-4Cs suppressed the hostile fire, the helicopter effected a successful rescue. By his extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and determination, Captain Price has reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Purple Heart, 6@ Air Medals


*RICHARDSON, DENNIS M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Dennis M. Richardson, Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Flight Engineer of an HH-3E Jolly Green rescue helicopter of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in Southeast Asia on 14 March 1968. On that date, Sergeant Richardson flew two sorties in an effort to rescue United States Air Force pilots who were surrounded by enemy troops along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. During the initial rescue attempt another helicopter had been driven off and Sergeant Richardson's helicopter had itself sustained significant battle damage. Despite their situation, and with complete disregard for their own safety, Sergeant Richardson and his crew elected to return and make a second rescue attempt. Coming to a hover 10 feet above the survivor's position, Sergeant Richardson stood fully exposed in the helicopter door and began lowering the jungle penetrator with one hand while gripping his M-60 machine gun with the other. Unknown to anyone, the enemy had occupied the area but held their fire, waiting to ambush the helicopter. Suddenly intense enemy fire erupted from all quadrants, resulting in additional damage to "Jolly Green 22" and wounding Sergeant Richardson. In an extraordinary display of courage and valor, Sergeant Richardson, despite his wounds, leaned far outside the door and neutralized charging enemy combatants who appeared intent on boarding the helicopter. Sergeant Richardson continued to lay down an effective blanket of defensive fire which enabled the pilot to maneuver safely out of the area. The selfless actions of Sergeant Richardson undoubtedly saved his helicopter and crew from certain disaster. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of a determined enemy, Sergeant Richardson reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Purple Heart


*RICHTER, KARL WENDELL (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Karl Wendell Richter (78872), First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, as the leader of a flight of F-105s on a mission over North Vietnam on 20 April 1967. The target, a very important railroad facility, was defended by several hundred antiaircraft artillery emplacement and SA-2 missiles. Lieutenant Richter's mission was to destroy or limit fire from these defenses immediately before a strike on this facility by fighter bombers. Arriving over the approach to the target, he found clouds obscuring navigational references and increasing the danger from unobserved SAM launches. Despite weather conditions, Lieutenant Richter, with great professional skill and undaunted determination, led his flight through a barrage of missiles to the target. Braving the heavy concentrated fire of the antiaircraft artillery, he positioned his flight and attacked the defenses, causing heavy damage. As a result of his efforts, the fighter bombers of the main strike force encountered only limited defensive fire and destroyed this vital railroad facility. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, First Lieutenant Richter reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Holly, Michigan
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 4@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, 2Purple Heart, 2@ Air Medals


RISNER, JAMES ROBINSON (POW)
(First Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to James Robinson Risner, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action as Mission Commander and Air Coordinator for air strikes in North Vietnam on 3 and 4 April 1965. On each of these two days he directed 90 aircraft against the railway and highway bridge at Thanh Hoa, North Vietnam. On the 3 April mission, Colonel Risner's aircraft was severely damaged by heavy ground fire, but with his cockpit filled with smoke, he managed to return to a friendly airfield where he landed safely. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Colonel Risner reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

(Second Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Air Force Cross to James Robinson Risner, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 31 October to 15 December 1965. Through his extraordinary heroism and willpower, in the face of the enemy, Lieutenant Colonel Risner reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. (At the time he was shot down and captured on 16 September 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Risner was a Pilot with the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force.)
Born: 1925 at Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
Home Town: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Personal Awards: 2@ Air Force Crosses (Vietnam), Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star (Korea), Silver Star (Vietnam), 3@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2@ Bronze Stars w/V, 3@ Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation, 3@ Purple Hearts, Prisoner of War Medal


RITCHIE, RICHARD S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Richard S. Ritchie, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-4D Aircraft Commander, 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action on 28 August 1972. On that date, while leading his flight to its assigned position deep in hostile territory, Captain Ritchie engaged and destroyed a hostile aircraft while it was attempting an attack on another flight of allied aircraft. Through superior maneuvering and use of aircraft capabilities, and in complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Ritchie was successful in destroying his fifth North Vietnamese MiG-21. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Ritchie reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: June 25, 1942 at Reidsville, North Carolina
Home Town: Reidsville, North Carolina
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, 4@ Silver Stars (Vietnam), 10@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 25@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal


ROBINSON, WILLIAM ANDREW (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to William Andrew Robinson, Airman First Class, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Helicopter Mechanic in Detachment 3, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action 40 miles south of Vinh, North Vietnam on 20 September 1965. On that date, Airman Robinson participated in an extremely hazardous attempted recovery of a downed pilot. The mission required a flight of over 80 miles, mostly over hostile controlled territory. Evaluation of the environment in which the downed pilot was located indicated that maximum performance would be demanded from each crew member if successful recovery was to be effected. Though exposed to intensive hostile ground fire, Airman Robinson, with complete disregard for his own safety, performed with courage and professional precision in a supreme effort to rescue a fallen comrade. Airman Robinson's courageous action and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American Fighting Man Under Attack by an Opposing Armed Force.
Born: August 28, 1943 at Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
Home Town: Roberson, North Carolina


ROBINSON, WILLIAM P.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to William P. Robinson, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 5 July 1966. On that date, Major Robinson, piloting a specially equipped F-105 Thunderchief, led a flight against hostile SA-2 surface-to-air missile sites which threatened other strike aircraft tasked to destroy a high priority target. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Major Robinson responded professionally in the face of continuous heavy and intense ground fire of all types and attacked four separate missile complexes. Three of the four sites were completely destroyed, and the remaining site sustained extensive damage. This courageous and aggressive action considerably reduced the missile threat against the other strike force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Robinson reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


*RONCA, ROBERT FRANCIS (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Francis Ronca (41457), Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Pilot of an F-100 Aircraft in action in Southeast Asia on 19 February 1965. On that date, Major Ronca led an air strike on an objective of extreme importance. After aggressively attacking the target on the first pass, Major Ronca's aircraft was severely damaged by the intense ground fire. Realizing the importance of totally destroying his objective, Major Ronca, with complete disregard for his own safety, reassured his flight that he could continue the mission and did aggressively lead a second attack. Although his aircraft was critically damaged, a determined attack was successfully completed resulting in heavy damages to the opposing forces before his crippled aircraft crashed into the target area. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Ronca reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: October 21, 1923 at Norristown, Pennsylvania
Home Town: Norristown, Pennsylvania


ROWAN, JOHN M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to John M. Rowan, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force on 19 March 1967. On that date, Major Rowan made United States Air Force history by successfully leading a flight of three F-105 Thunderchiefs on an unprecedented and daring low-level, high-speed attack on a vital thermal power plant, deep in North Vietnam. This tactic of weapons delivery was an original concept formulated and submitted by Major Rowan to higher headquarters. Despite extremely hazardous flying conditions consisting of extremely low clouds and poor visibility, an intense barrage of antiaircraft artillery fire over the target, and a near miss by an SA-2 surface-to-air missile, Major Rowan heroically led his flight through rugged mountainous terrain to accomplish this highly significant mission. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Rowan reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


*SCHANEBERG, LEROY CLYDE (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Leroy Clyde Schaneberg (328349277), Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-53C Aircraft Commander of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in Savanbnekhet Province, Laos, on 30 June 1970. On that date, while piloting a rescue helicopter, Captain Schaneberg penetrated an area of known hostile concentration in a valiant attempt to rescue an injured American pilot. Undaunted after having to abort his first effort and without regard for his personal safety, Captain Schaneberg elected to make a second rescue effort. As his helicopter neared the survivor, it sustained severe battle damage, forcing Captain Schaneberg to abandon the attempt. With great courage and determination, Captain Schaneberg tried to save the aircraft and his crew, but the badly damaged helicopter became uncontrollable, impacted the ground, and exploded. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Schaneberg reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Ashton, Illinois
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 3@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Purple Heart, 4@ Air Medals


*SCHMIDT, NORMAN (POW-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Norman Schmidt (567283380), Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 1 September 1966 to 28 August 1967. Through his extraordinary heroism and willpower, in the face of the enemy, Colonel Schmidt reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: July 7, 1926 at Alhambra, California
Home Town: Ben Lomond, California
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 5@ Air Medals, Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal


SCHURR, HARRY W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Harry W. Schurr, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as commander of a strike force of twenty F-105 Thunderchiefs against a heavily defended target in North Vietnam on 11 August 1967. On that date, though intense, accurately directed hostile fire had damaged his aircraft prior to reaching the target, Colonel Schurr, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill, led the strike in a devastating attack against a key railroad and highway bridge. One span was destroyed and others heavily damaged. As a result, the flow of war materials into this area was appreciably reduced. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the hostile force, Colonel Schurr has reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


*SCOTT, TRAVIS HENRY, JR. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Travis Henry Scott, Jr. (FR-3170857), Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-53C Aircraft Commander of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Dak Nay Puey, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 April 1970. On that date, Captain Scott was engaged in the rescue of a crew of a United States Army helicopter which was shot down by enemy ground fire. With display of great skill and professional airmanship, Captain Scott made two earlier attempts to position his helicopter, but each time he was driven off by heavy ground fire, which inflicted damage to his helicopter. After assessing the damage to his helicopter, and assuring that his crew was able to continue with the mission, Captain Scott requested and received permission to make a third rescue attempt. In this attempt, the helicopter was severely damaged by an intense burst of heavy automatic weapons fire. Captain Scott heroically struggled to keep his crippled helicopter airborne and, with sheer determination and a deep concern for his fellow men, he crash landed his helicopter in order to save the lives of his crew and passengers. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship and aggressiveness in the face of an opposing armed force, and in the dedication of his service to his Country, Captain Scott reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: April 29, 1943 at Montgomery, Alabama
Home Town: Montgomery, Alabama
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, 5@ Air Medals


*SELLERS, JERRY ALAN (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Jerry Alan Sellers (81191), Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller and O-2 Pilot of the 20th Tactical Air support Squadron, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Con Thien, Republic of Vietnam, on 25 December 1967. On that date, Major Sellers, while flying a night reconnaissance mission, received a call for assistance from a United States ground patrol. This patrol had been attacked by a superior hostile force and was in imminent danger of being overrun. Weather and terrain conditions made target acquisition virtually impossible. Major Sellers elected to turn on his lights to locate the target and his aircraft was immediately bracketed by antiaircraft fire. He then attempted to direct an AC-47 gunship to the area from which fire had been received but the pilot could not see the target. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Major Sellers illuminated the target with his landing lights and directed accurate fire into the hostile positions. His aircraft was struck by hostile fire and crashed. By deliberately exposing himself to the hostile fire, Major Sellers enabled the patrol to be withdrawn, ultimately saving their lives by the sacrifice of his own. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Sellers reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: April 27, 1935 at Altha, Florida
Home Town: Altha, Florida


SELLERS, KENNETH H.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Kenneth H. Sellers, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller at Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam, on 30 January 1968. On that date, in conjunction with the Tet Offensive, a large, well-equipped hostile force entered the city, intent on overrunning military installations and releasing a large contingent of hostile captives contained in the local prison. The hostiles' entrenched positions prevented reinforcements from reaching the battle areas where friendly forces were in dire need of support. Captain Sellers, despite great personal risk from heavy machine gun and automatic weapons fire, repeatedly attacked hostile positions in an O-2 aircraft armed with high explosive rockets. He systematically silenced three machine gun positions and neutralized two fortified hostile companies, thereby preventing the annihilation of beleaguered friendly units. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Sellers reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


SHANNON, FRED
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Fred Shannon, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-105 Electronics Warfare Officer of the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in the lead aircraft of a flak suppression flight near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 11 August 1967. On that date, Captain Shannon suppressed six active surface-to-air missile sites defending a strategic highway and railroad bridge. Despite concentrated barrages of antiaircraft fire and three missiles directed against his flight, Captain Shannon displayed the highest degree of courageous leadership in destroying two missile sites and in forcing the other four into sporadic operation. As a direct result of his actions, the strike force suffered no losses and imposed extensive damage on this vital target. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Shannon reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


SHAUB, CHARLES L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Charles L. Shaub, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Loadmaster of a C-130 aircraft of the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron, An Loc Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in the Republic of Vietnam, on 15 April 1972. On that date, while accomplishing a tactical emergency low level airdrop of critically needed ammunition to a besieged concentration of allied forces, Sergeant Shaub's aircraft was severely damaged by hostile anti-aircraft fire. Realizing the immediate danger to the aircraft and crew, Sergeant Shaub risked his own life to jettison the burning cargo seconds before it exploded and to extinguish a raging fuselage fire, sustaining severe burns on his face, neck and hands in the process. By these Actions, Sergeant Shaub saved the lives of his fellow crew members and prevented the loss of his aircraft. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Staff Sergeant Shaub reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Gallatin, Tennessee
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Purple Heart, 6@ Air Medals


SMITH, DONALD G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Donald G. Smith, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pararescueman on a HH-3E Rescue Helicopter of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in Laos, on 24 October 1969. On that date, Sergeant Smith voluntarily descended to the surface on a forest penetrator to assist a downed pilot. As he and the pilot were being raised, hostile fire rendered the hoist inoperative and the cable was sheared, dropping them fifteen feet to the ground. Sergeant Smith's position was surrounded by hostile forces, and his helicopter was downed by hostile fire. Remaining exceptionally calm, his resolute and decisive presence encouraged the other survivors, while his resourcefulness in controlling and directing the aircraft providing suppressive fire, resulted in the safe recovery of all downed personnel. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Airman's Medal, 6@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal


SMITH, ROBERT W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Robert W. Smith, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as an F- 105 Pilot of the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388 Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, 7th Air Force, in action in Southeast Asia on 19 November 1967. On that date, Colonel Smith led a strike force of twenty F-105 and four F-4 aircraft to the vicinity of Hanoi for the initial strike on an important military target. Colonel Smith gallantly led his force through a hostile aircraft attack, an awesome and extended attack by missiles which downed two aircraft, and into the heavy antiaircraft defenses to strike crippling blows to the assigned target and to a large active surface-to-air missile site. Colonel Smith never wavered from his goal, and with complete disregard for his life, displayed great courage and determined leadership to accomplish an extremely hazardous and difficult mission. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Colonel Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 3@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal


SMITH, RONALD E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Ronald E. Smith, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an A-1 Tactical Fighter Pilot in Southeast Asia from 1 June 1972 to 2 June 1972. During this period, Captain Smith was on-scene commander for an extremely hazardous and complex search and rescue mission to recover an American crew member in the heavily fortified Red River Valley. In his efforts to locate the survivor, Captain Smith deliberately and repeatedly exposed his slow-moving aircraft to intense antiaircraft fire to mark and pinpoint the survivor's location. After directing air strikes to silence the threatening hostile forces, he led the vulnerable rescue helicopter to a safe and successful recovery of the downed crew member. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 2@ Silver Stars (Vietnam), Legion of Merit, 6@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 8@ Air Medals, 2@ Meritorious Service Medals


SMITH, ROWLAND F., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Rowland F. Smith, Jr., Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pilot leading a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs attacking a vital military target in the vicinity of Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 27 October 1967. On that date, with his aircraft hit and burning, Captain Smith exhibited the highest order of courage as he continued to fly through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire to attack and destroy a hostile surface-to-air missile complex that was threatening a large F-105 strike force. With his aircraft still in flames, he remained in the target area while initiating rescue efforts for his downed wingman. Captain Smith then flew his crippled aircraft 300 miles to a skillful emergency landing. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 3@ Silver Stars (Vietnam)


SMITH, WESTON T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Weston T. Smith, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force near Ben Het, Republic of Vietnam, from 24 February 1969 to 25 February 1969. During this period, Major Smith directed close air support against one of the most heavily defended target complexes in the Republic of Vietnam. Despite intense, accurately directed hostile fire which damaged his unarmed aircraft, Major Smith was successful in directing the neutralization of the opposing force. With complete disregard for his own life, he saved the lives of many American and allied soldiers and prevented the strategically located friendly position from being overrun. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


STEVENS, DONALD D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Donald D. Stevens, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Pilot of an O-2 Aircraft and a Forward Air Controller in Southeast Asia on 19 August 1967. On that date, Captain Stevens braved continuous hostile automatic weapons and antiaircraft fire for more than eight hours to rescue a wounded American soldier. Captain Stevens made repeated low passes directly into the heavy hostile fire to locate the wounded man and to direct medical evacuation helicopters to the area. Despite sustaining a hit in his unarmed observation aircraft, Captain Stevens persevered in his rescue attempt and finally succeeded in securing the save extraction of the wounded soldier and the reaction team that had gone to help him. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Stevens reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, 16@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal


STOCKS, BRUCE D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Bruce D. Stocks, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as the Pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 19 November 1967. On that date, Major Stocks led a flight assigned to suppress the surface-to-air missile threat for a twenty-ship strike force that had been directed to attack a strategic rail yard at the edge of Hanoi. He delivered his ordnance on the most threatening site and warned the strike force of imminent SAM attack. Due to his timely warning they were able to evade a salvo of missiles and depart the target area without battle damage. As Major Stocks turned to follow them out, shrapnel from an exploding surface-to-air missile hit his aircraft, wounding him in the chest and shoulder. When his wingman was hit seconds later, Major Stocks, in spite of his wounds, turned back toward the heavily defended target to successfully escort the damaged aircraft to a safe bailout area. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Stocks reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Air Medal, Purple Heart


*STORZ, RONALD EDWARD (POW-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Ronald Edward Storz (122249380), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from August 1967 to April 1970. Through his extraordinary heroism and willpower, in the face of the enemy, Lieutenant Colonel Storz reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. (At the time that he was shot down and captured on 28 April 1965, Captain Storz was a O-1A Pilot and Forward Air Control Pilot with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron.)
Home Town: South Ozone Park, New York
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Prisoner of War Medal


STOVALL, DALE E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Dale E. Stovall, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an Aircraft Commander of an HH-53C rescue helicopter of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in Southeast Asia from 1 June 1972 to 2 June 1972. During this period, Captain Stovall, voluntarily and at great risk to his own life, repeatedly penetrated an extremely hostile and heavily defended area to effect the rescue of a downed American airman. Captain Stovall's first attempt to rescue the airman was thwarted by numerous hostile aircraft and missiles being directed at the rescue force. Determined to save this airman, he willingly returned to this high threat area, braving intense ground fire, to recover the downed airman from deep in North Vietnam. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Stovall reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Department of the Air Force, Special Order GB-722 (November 22, 1972)
Born: February 19, 1944 at Toppenish, Washington
Home Town: Toppenish, Washington
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 2@ Silver Stars (Vietnam), Defense Superior Service Medal, 2@ Legion of Merit, 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2@ Meritorious Service Medals, 6@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal


TALLEY, JOEL E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Joel E. Talley, Airman, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as a Rescue Specialist (Pararescueman) on an HH-3E Rescue Helicopter of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam on 2 July 1968. On that date, Airman Talley volunteered to be lowered to the ground from a hovering helicopter into the jungle of North Vietnam to rescue an injured pilot, who had ejected the previous day. The downed pilot had parachuted into a concentration of North Vietnamese Army regulars who immediately surrounded him and set up gun positions to trap the forthcoming rescue helicopters. Four rescue attempts were driven off, and a supporting fighter aircraft was shot down by devastating ground fire, which encircled the survivor's position. Despite full knowledge of the well-laid trap, Airman Talley voluntarily descended to search the jungle floor. After an extensive search he found the helpless survivor, carried him to the rescue device, and signaled the helicopter to commence extraction. While Airman Talley and the survivor were being hoisted, a fusillade of fire raked the helicopter scoring more than forty hits, forcing the helicopter to exit the area, exposing both airmen to hostile fire. The rescue was successfully accomplished. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Airman Talley reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Farmland, Ohio


TITUS, ROBERT F.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Robert F. Titus, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-4C Mission Commander in the 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 22 May 1967. On that date, Colonel Titus led his flight into one of the most heavily defended areas of North Vietnam in direct support of F-105 strike aircraft operations. Undaunted by accurate flak and five surface-to-air missiles that were launched at his aircraft, he repeatedly and unhesitatingly engaged numerous MiG-21s in defense of the friendly aircraft. During these aggressive and courageous aerial encounters, Colonel Titus destroyed two MiG-21 aircraft. As a direct result of his tenacity and extreme bravery in the face of great danger, the F-105 force was able to accomplish its assigned mission. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Colonel Titus reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: 1926 at Orange, New Jersey
Home Town: Virginia
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 4@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, 24@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal


TRAUTMAN, KONRAD WIGAND (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Konrad Wigand Trautman (FV-1909945), Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 10 May 1969 to 8 October 1969. Under his leadership, an escape committee was formed which eventually precipitated an escape from a prison camp located on the edge of the city of Hanoi. Though the escapees were soon recaptured, it resulted in extreme embarrassment to the camp commander who lost his position along with others of his staff. Major Trautman was subjected to a cruel round of torture in which the interrogators attempted to get details of prisoner plans and organization. Major Trautman absorbed this torture and accepted blame for the escape in a gallant bid to protect the senior ranking American and other prisoners who were active in operations against the Vietnamese. He suffered excruciating tortures and beatings resulting in many serious wounds which placed him physically and mentally on the edge of death. Through his extraordinary heroism and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Major Trautman reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. (At the time he was shot down and captured on 5 October 1967, Major Trautman was an F-105 Pilot flying out of Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force.
Born: March 15, 1927 at Oberlin, Pennsylvania
Home Town: Oberlin, Pennsylvania
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 2@ Legion of Merit, 2@ Bronze Stars, Prisoner of War Medal


TRAYNOR, DENNIS W., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Dennis W. Traynor, III, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism and airmanship while engaged in a humanitarian mission as Aircraft Commander of an Air Force C-5 aircraft at Saigon, Vietnam on 3 April 1975. On that date, the aircraft, carrying 330 passengers and crew, experienced a serious in-flight emergency which could have resulted in the loss of life for all aboard. With no aircraft controls except one aileron and the engines, Captain Traynor guided the crippled aircraft to a crash landing in a rice paddy, thereby saving the lives of 176 of the people on board. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Captain Traynor reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Distinguished Flying Cross, Airman's Medal, 3@ Meritorious Service Medals, 4@ Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal.


TSOUPRAKE, PETER
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Peter Tsouprake, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 5 July 1966. On that date, Major Tsouprake, an F-105F Electronics Warfare Officer in the lead aircraft of a flight tasked to support a large strike force, detected hostile surface-to-air missile sites which threatened the other strike force. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Major Tsouprake responded professionally in the face of continuous heavy and intense ground fire of all types and directed his pilot in attacks against four separate missile complexes. Three of the four sites were completely destroyed, and the remaining site sustained extensive damage. This courageous and aggressive action considerably reduced the missile threat against the other strike force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Tsouprake reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


TURNER, ROBERT E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Robert E. Turner, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an A-1E pilot in Southeast Asia on 6 January 1967 near Lima Site 36, in Laos. On that date, Major Turner diverted his flight to the immediate support of a remote but vital outpost being overrun by hostile ground forces. He descended through 2,500 feet of solid clouds in poorly mapped mountainous terrain and made repeated attacks against entrenched hostile forces. In spite of intense and accurate automatic weapons fire and repeated hits upon his aircraft, Major Turner continued his attacks until his ordnance was exhausted and fuel was critically low. His actions forced the hostile forces to break off their assault and saved the friendly forces from certain defeat. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Turner reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 9@ Air Medals


*WEATHERBY, JACK WILTON (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Jack Wilton Weatherby (570460742), Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Pilot of an RF-101 aircraft of the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action over North Vietnam on 29 July 1965. On that date, Captain Weatherby voluntarily flew an unarmed aircraft at extremely low altitude deep into hostile territory which was heavily defended, to photograph a target of vital significance to the United States Air Force and Republic of Vietnam Air Force. As he approached the target area, his aircraft was severely damaged by accurate ground fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Captain Weatherby elected to press on to the target until his badly damaged aircraft exploded and crashed. Captain Weatherby's courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American fighting man under attack by an opposing armed force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Weatherby reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Fort Worth, Texas


WELLS, NORMAN LOUROSS (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Norman Louross Wells (0-3037386/13430498), Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Phuc Yen, North Vietnam, on 19 July 1966. On that date, Captain Wells led a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs against a heavily defended petroleum products storage area ten miles northwest of Hanoi. After penetrating a curtain of exploding steel to deliver his deadly ordnance on this vital target, Captain Wells then shot down one of two MiGs who were attacking the second element of the formation. After a much-needed aerial refueling, Captain Wells provided top cover for a successful rescue by helicopters of a friendly pilot who had ejected over hostile territory. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Captain Wells reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: March 7, 1933 at Annapolis, Maryland
Home Town: Unionville, Virginia
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 5@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Prisoner of War Medal


WHATLEY, WAYNE N.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Wayne N. Whatley, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Pilot of an F- 105 aircraft, in action in Southeast Asia on 30 June 1966. On that date, Major Whatley led a flight of four F-105 aircraft against an extremely heavily defended petroleum, oil, and lubricant storage complex in North Vietnam. By exhibiting extraordinary flying ability, leadership qualities, and personal bravery in the face of intense hostile fire, Major Whatley successfully struck the assigned target, thus contributing greatly to the objectives of his country. Although sustaining hits on his aircraft, Major Whatley, disregarding his personal safety, stayed with his downed wingman and directed a successful rescue operation. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Whatley reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 8@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart


WHITE, ROBERT M. (POW-WWII)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Robert M. White, Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-105 Mission Commander and Pilot of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 11 August 1967. On that date, Colonel White led the entire combat force against a key railroad and highway bridge in the vicinity of Hanoi. In spite of 14 surface-to-air missile launches, MiG interceptor attacks, and intense antiaircraft artillery fire, he gallantly led the attack. By being the first aircraft to dive through the dark clouds of bursting flak, Colonel White set an example that inspired the remaining attacking force to destroy the bridge without a single aircraft being lost to the hostile gunners. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Colonel White reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: 1924 at New York, New York
Home Town: New York, New York
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, 4@ Silver Stars, Legion of Merit, 5@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, 17@ Air Medals


*WHITESIDES, RICHARD LEBROU (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Richard Lebrou Whitesides (55637), Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an Advisor-Pilot of an L-19 aircraft of the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron, 34th Tactical Group, Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action on 24 November 1963 in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, while piloting his unprotected aircraft, Captain Whitesides directed strikes time after time against heavily fortified Viet Cong positions and marked them for destruction. Even after his aircraft was partially disabled, Captain Whitesides remained in the area, and clearly pointed out the Viet Cong large gun emplacements, which led to their destruction by cover aircraft. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Whitesides reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Stockton, California


*WILKE, ROBERT FREDERICK (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Frederick Wilke (388189460), Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an A-1E Skyraider pilot of the 602d Tactical Fighter Squadron (Commando), Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action on 16 and 17 January 1968. On these dates, Colonel Wilke participated in the successful combat recovery of two downed aircrew members and commanded an effort to recover two other downed pilots. The latter attempted recovery required a penetration of and flight beneath an extremely low overcast condition. With complete disregard for his own safety, Colonel Wilke executed a slow spiral maneuver into the cloud formation, broke out beneath the overcast, and initiated his search in mountainous terrain with extremely limited air space. As he was conducting this low-level search in a heavily defended hostile environment, intense ground fire was being directed toward his aircraft and resulted in his being shot down over hostile territory. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Colonel Wilke reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 1Purple Heart, 3@ Air Medals


WILLIAMS, DAVID H.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to David H. Williams, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as the Electronics Warfare Officer for the leader of an F-105 Thunderchief flight attacking a vital military target in the vicinity of Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 27 October 1967. On that date, with his aircraft hit and burning, Captain Williams exhibited the highest order of courage as he continued to guide his pilot through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire to attack and destroy a hostile surface-to-air missile complex that was threatening a large F-105 strike force. With his aircraft still in flames he assisted his pilot in initiating rescue efforts for a wingman down in the target area. Captain Williams then constantly provided positions as the pilot flew the crippled aircraft 300 miles to a skillful emergency landing. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Williams reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


WOFFORD, TRAVIS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Travis Wofford, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Co-Pilot of an HH-53 Rescue Helicopter Pilot of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Dak Nay Puey, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 April 1970. On that date, Major Wofford was engaged in the rescue of a crew of a United States Army helicopter which was shot down by enemy ground fire. Although Major Wofford was wounded by enemy ground fire during two earlier rescue attempts, he chose to continue with the rescue operations. On the third attempt, the helicopter was severely damaged by an intense burst of heavy automatic weapons fire. When the helicopter lost power and crashed, Major Wofford, with complete disregard for his personal safety and despite his painful injuries, freed himself from the wreckage and then attempted to free the pilot, who was instantly killed on impact. He then observed the other members of the crew engulfed in flames and, with sheer determination and a deep concern for his fellow men, he rushed to their aid, extinguished the flames and then dragged the aircrew members to a place of safety from which they were rescued. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Wofford reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Centralia, Washington
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Distinguished Flying Cross, 3@ Meritorious Service Medals, 7@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart


*WOOD, PATRICK HARDY (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Patrick Hardy Wood (490306651), Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E Helicopter of the 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action near Mu Gia Pass, North Vietnam, on 6 February 1967. On that date, Major Wood flew two sorties in an effort to rescue a pilot downed deep in heavily defended hostile territory. An intensive search under constant fire failed to locate the pilot and the first sortie was cancelled due to rapidly deteriorating weather. Major Wood undertook a second attempt fully aware that fighter cover and flak suppression support were unavailable due to marginal weather. Despite intense and accurate 37-mm. fire, Major Wood successfully located and hoisted the downed pilot into his aircraft. At this point, the hostile forces, thwarted in their attempts to capture the downed pilot, and with the possibility of luring other aircraft to destruction, directed all their fire-power toward Major Wood's aircraft. Heavy 37-mm, fire exploded above the aircraft on a climb out, and one hit was taken in the cabin. Although his aircraft was severely damaged, Major Wood attempted to clear a ridge line which would have provided a sufficient altitude for a safe bailout for his crew. In the face of a known highly dangerous area, extremely adverse weather conditions, and exceptionally heavy hostile fire, Major Wood pressed his humanitarian efforts to save a fellow airman. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Wood reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Kansas City, Missouri
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Purple Heart, 2@ Air Medals


WORRELL, ROWLAND H., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Rowland H. Worrell, III (FR-3196585), First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Forward Air Controller and Pilot of an O-2 aircraft of the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action at Dak Seang Special Forces Camp, Republic of Vietnam, on 1 April 1970. On that date, Lieutenant Worrell directed air strikes, artillery and aerial resupply drops in support of the completely besieged Dak Seang Camp. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he calmly and accurately located hostile forces and weapons and systematically directed their destruction. When these efforts failed to halt the perimeter assault, Lieutenant Worrell repeatedly flew his unarmed aircraft through heavy ground fire and, as a last effort, fired his marking rockets into the attackers on the perimeter wire, causing them to stop the assault and withdraw. During the four and one-half hours over the camp, Lieutenant Worrell braved intense ground fire to cover a troop withdrawal and single-handedly frustrated an attack on the camp's perimeter, thus saving many lives and possibly the camp itself. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Lieutenant Worrell reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: at Macon, Georgia
Home Town: Macon, Georgia
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Silver Star (Vietnam), 3@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Meritorious Service Medal, 8@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal


WRIGHT, GARTH A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Garth A. Wright, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Security Operations Officer in the 35th Security Police Squadron, at Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action in the Republic of Vietnam, on 26 January 1969. On that date, Captain Wright was the key factor in repelling a highly trained and specialized North Vietnamese Army Company that was infiltrating Phan Rang. With professionalism, confidence, and extraordinary coolness under fire, Captain Wright organized and directed a blocking force that broke the attack. Walking into point-blank range of a heavily armed opposing squad concealed in the brush, Captain Wright, through fast reaction and exceptional skill, saved his men from possible annihilation and prevented the hostile forces from overrunning the base. Through his extraordinary heroism and aggressiveness in the face of determined action by hostile forces, Captain Wright reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), Bronze Star, Air Force Commendation Medal


WRIGHT, LEROY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to LeRoy Wright, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Helicopter Flight Mechanic aboard an HH-3E Rescue Helicopter the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group, as part of an all-volunteer joint U.S. Army and Air Force raiding force in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed heliborne assault mission to rescue United States military personnel held as prisoners of war at Son Tay prison in North Vietnam, on 21 November 1970. Although suffering injury to his left foot and ankle during the landing in the prison compound, Sergeant Wright remained with the helicopter until all passengers and crew had exited the aircraft despite the possibility of aircraft explosion. Sergeant Wright then vigorously moved to an exposed area and, with complete disregard for his own life, placed extremely effective covering fire on enemy positions which endangered the operation thus freeing the Army element within the compound to continue its mission. Sergeant Wright then, despite the intense pain of his injury, courageously moved by himself more than 200 meters with the Army element to the extraction landing zone. These actions reflect great credit upon Sergeant Wright and the United States Air Force.


YORK, GLEN P.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Glen P. York, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia as Rescue Crew Commander of an unarmed HH-3E Rescue Helicopter near Nam Dinh, North Vietnam, on 18 July 1967. Despite the knowledge that a preceding rescue force had been damaged and driven away by intensive antiaircraft fire, Major York unhesitatingly entered an extremely hostile area to rescue a downed United States Navy pilot. In the approach to the pilot's position, one of Major York's escort aircraft was hit and forced to withdraw. Major York deliberately disregarded continuous heavy fire from all directions and hovered over the downed pilot until he was safely hoisted aboard. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Major York reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Vietnam), 6@ Air Medals

 

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