The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the BRONZE STAR MEDAL to
CORPORAL KENNETH ANDREW ALTAZAN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroic achievement in conjunction with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group Thirty-Six, First Marine Aircraft Wing. On 28 March 1968, Corporal ALTAZAN was aboard a CH-46 helicopter attempting the extraction of the crew of a downed helicopter which had been forced to make an emergency landing in enemy controlled territory and was under heavy fire from North Vietnamese soldiers. When his aircraft came under intense ground fire after landing near the beleagured Marines' position, Corporal ALTAZAN used his M-16 rifle to deliver a heavy volume of suppressive fire against the enemy while appraising the pilot of the situation and location of enemy positions. Momentarily forced to lift from the fire-swept area, due to the increasing intensity of hostile fire, the pilot quickly maneuvered the aircraft to within twenty-five meters of the downed helicopter crew and landed. Disregarding the continuing enemy fire directed at his aircraft, Coporal ALTAZAN steadfastly maintained his position and returned effective fire at the enemy until one of the aerial gunners was wounded in the face. Quickly render- ing medical aid to his companion, he informed the pilot and then returned to his weapon and continued to bring effective fire to bear against the enemy. Since the downed crew was unable to embark because of the intensity of hostile fire, the pilot lifted out of the fire-swept zone to prevent further damage to his air- craft or injury to the crew and directed armed helicopter attacks against enemy emplacements.When a third landing was made in the zone and the besieged crew appeared hesitant to leave their positions, Corporal ALTAZAN completely dis- regarding his own saftey as he exited the helicopter, maneuvered across the hazardous area to the disabled helicopter and led the crew to his aircraft which subsequently departed for the medical facility at Dong Ha. Corporal ALTAZAN's courage, superior professionalism and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk were instrumental in the evacuation of the downed crew members from the hazardous area and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
Corporal ALTAZAN is authorized to wear the Combat "V".
FOR THE PRESIDENT,
/S/ H. W. Buse, Jr.
H. W. BUSE, JR.
Crew of YK-4
|Maj. John A. Chancey||Pilot|
|1stLt. William O. Hopper||Copilot|
|Sgt. Kenneth A. Altazan||Crew Chief|
|Cpl. Lawrence A. Igl||Gunner|
|Sgt. William M. Williams||Gunner|
After Action Report
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