The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a gold star in lieu of the second BRONZE STAR MEDAL to
CORPORAL KENNETH ANDREW ALTAZAN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroic achievement in connection with operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 36, First Marine Aircraft Wing. On the afternoon of 26 July 1968, Corporal ALTAZAN launched as Crew Chief aboard the second aircraft in a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned to insert a Marine reconnaissance team near Phu Bai in Thau Thien Province. As the lead aircraft landed in the desig- nated zone, it came under a heavy volume of hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire and was forced to lift out of the fire-swept area. Upon learning that two Marines were still in the landing zone, Corporal ALTAZAN's pilot unhesi- tatingly landed his helicopter in the site, despite encountering intense enemy fire. Alertly observing that one of the men had been seriously wounded, Corporal ALTAZAN unhesitatingly left his position of relative safety and fear- lessly ran across the dangerous area to his injured comrade. Ignoring the hostile rounds impacting near him, he rapidly carried the casualty aboard his helicopter and, seizing a first aid kit, skillfully began treating his wounds as the pilot rapidly maneuvered the aircraft to a nearby medical facility. His heroic actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrade inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the life of a fellow Marine. Corporal ALTAZAN's courage, bold initiative and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were in keeping with th e 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.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC
|Capt. Anthony L. Keyfel||Pilot|
|LtCol. J. Blaha||Copilot|
|Cpl. Kenneth A. Altazan||Crew Chief|
|Sgt. Vincent Andrade||Gunner|
|LCpl. Carl S. Smith||Gunner|
After Action Report