1stLt. Richard P. Hardin's Silver Star
Probably published mid October 1969
Name of Cherry Point area newspaper unknown.

"Conspicuous Gallantry"
Nets Pilot Silver Star

A Marine  helicopter pilot,  who was awarded  the Distinguished Flying Cross here in July,  was presented the nation's third highest decoration for heroism during a ceremony here October 1.

Captain  Richard P. Hardin,  training  officer  for  SOES,  received the Silver   Star   Medal   from   Brigadier   General   Robert   F.   Conley, COMCABEast.

Captain  Hardin was cited for his  "conspicuous gallantry and  intrepi- dity in action" while serving with HMM-364, MAG-36, 1st Maw, in the Republic of Vietnam.

On  the  afternoon  of   February  7,  1969,  Captain   Hardin,   a  First Lieutenant at that time,  took off as wingman in a flight  of two CH-46 transport helicopters.   The mission involved the emergency evacuation of casualties from a  unit that was heavily engaged  with a hostile force in Quang Nam Province. 

Sustaining  extensive battle damage when  it came under intense enemy fire, the lead aircraft crashed in enemy controlled territory.

Setting the scene for First Lieutenant Hardin's  "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action" was a heavy overcast and rain which severely limited  visibility,  and  an  extremely  heavy  volume of   hostile  small arms,  automatic  weapons  and  machin e gun  fire.   "First Lieutenant Hardin, " the citation relates, "fearlessly maneuvered  his helicopter in an approach to the  crash site.   He approached the crash site to  deter- mine the fate of the crew." 

He  was  forced to abort  his first approach  due to  the intensity of the enemy  fire.  On  his  second  approach  to  report  the  location of  the helicopter,  "First Lieutenant Hardin  completely  disregarded  his own safety as he resolutely maneuvered his plane through the hail of hostile enemy fire."

When  a friendly force reached  the  downed  aircraft and  reported the need for equipment to free two survivors pinned in the wreckage,  First Lieutenant  Hardin  is  praised  for  proceeding to DaNang, embarking rescue  equipment  and  personnel,  and  quickly returning to the crash site.

When a Marine in the ground force was seriously wounded and requir- ed immediate removal, First Lieutenant Hardin volunteered to re-enter the perilous area.   In  this task  he is commended  for,  "skillfully exe- cuting a high-sped approach through the intense hostile fire, landing in the dangerous area,  embarking the injured man a nd departing for the nearest medical facility."

In  addition to the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross, Captain Hardin holds 37 Air Medals.

News article provided by:
    Stephanie Hanson, Daughter of Hn Gary Norman Young

Crew of YK-11

1stLt. Richard P. Hardin Pilot
1stLt. Samuel J. Ware Copilot
Cpl. James H. Bandish Crew Chief
LCpl Ronald J. Lamoree Gunner
Sgt. John F. Gruenewald Gunner

After Action Report

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