The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a gold star in lieu of the second BRONZE STAR MEDAL to
FIRST LIEUTENANT COURTNEY B. PAYNE
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the republic of Vietnam while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen, First Marine Aircraft Wing. On 28 February 1969, First Lieutenant Payne was the Officer in Charge of an aircraft recovery team which was inserted into a hostile zone north of An Hoa in Quang Nam Province to salvage a crashed CH-46 transport helicopter. Fully aware that ground units in the area had been in heavy contact with the enemy for several days, he disregarded his own safety as he assessed the situation and commenced to direct the removal of component parts from the disabled helicopter. Working sufficiently and quickly, despite repeated bursts of enemy small arms fire, First Lieutenant Payne continued his efforts until the aircraft was completely dismantled and the airframe was prepared for extraction. During hoist operations, he directed the fire of his team against hostile positions and was instrumental in silencing an enemy machine gun which was firing at the recovery helicopter. As a result of his superb planning and supervision, the valuable aircraft and all its component parts were lifted out of the hazardous area and moved to a secure zone within a minimum amount of time. First Lieutenant Payne's initiative, outstanding professional skill and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were in keeping with the highest traditions of he Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized,
FOR THE PRESIDENT
/S/ H. W. BUSE, JR.
Courtney B. Payne's History Index
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