The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to
CAPTAIN ERNEST KUN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group Thirty-Six, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 4 February 1968, Captain KUN launched as Copilot of a CH-46 transport helicopter assigned an emergency medical evacuation mission in support of a Marine unit which had sustained seventeen casualties during an engagement with the enemy in Hue City. Although visibility was well below that considered safe for helicopter flights, he volunteered to attempt the hazardous mission upon learning that several of the casualties required immediate medical attention. Departing on a radar monitored flight with precision tracking enroute, Captain KUN constantly monitored the instruments and provided the pilot vital readings on altitude, rate of descent and directions to the landing zone. His accuracy in monitoring was possible only through his exceptional skill since the aircraft's Tactical Air Navi- gation system malfunctioned shortly after takeoff and was inoperable through- out the remainder of the flight. Due to the poor visibility, four vectored approaches into the designated area were made before the landing zone was identified. Although the aircraft came under intense enemy automatic weapons fire during the last three approaches, Captain KUN ably assisted the pilot in maneuvering the aircraft to the small landing zone which was barely discernible behind a two-story building. After calmly remaining in the hazardous area for approximately ten minutes while the casualties were embarked, Captain KUN assisted the pilot in lifting from the hazardous area and safely transported the wounded to the medical facility at Phu Bai, utilizing a radar controlled vector enroute. Captain KUN's exemplary airmanship, courage and steadfast devotion to duty at great personal risk contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
FOR THE PRESIDENT
/S/ H. W. Buse, Jr.
H. W. BUSE, JR.
After Action Report
|YK-17||Supporting the 1st Marines|
|Pilot||Maj. James R. Parsons|
|Copilot||Capt. Ernest J. Kun||Photo|
|Crew Chief||Sgt. James D. Shelton (KIA 02-05-68)||Photo|
|Gunner||SSgt. Denis T. Kearney|
|Gunner||SSgt. R. L. Lewis|
|Corpsman||D. R. Nelson|
|Phu Bai||Departs at 2100 under very poor weather conditions|
|YD772221||Picked up 17 emergency medevacs in Hue City|
|Phu Bai||Delivers 17 wounded, mission complete at 2215|
Capt. Ernest J. Kun's Squadron
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