The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the AIR MEDAL (Bronze Star for the First Award) to
SERGEANT WILLIAM MICHAEL WILLIAMS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroic achievement in aerial flight while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 28 March 1968, Sergeant WILLIAMS launched as an Aerial Gunner aboard the third aircraft in a flight of ten CH-46 helicopters assigned to resupply the Marine outpost on Hill 881 near Khe Sanh. When one of the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in enemy controlled territory due to battle damage, his pilot volunteered to extract the downed crew which was heavily engaged with North Vietnamese soldiers. The first landing was made 100 meters from the disabled helicopter. As his aircraft came under intense hostile fire, Sergeant WILLIAMS delivered a heavy volume of suppressive fire which enabled his pilot to lift from the zone and maneuver the helicopter to a landing within twenty-five meters of the beleaguered Marines. Ignoring the increasing intensity of North Vietnamese fire, he contin- ued to man his weapon and deliver a heavy volume of fire against the enemy positions. When a fellow aerial gunner was wounded, Sergeant WILLIAMS unhesitatingly moved to his comrade's weapon and delivered effective return fire to counter the enemy fire directed at the aircraft. When the downed crew was unable to embark because of the extreme heavy enemy fire, the pilot lifted out of the fire-swept zone to prevent further damage to his aircraft or injury to the crew and directed armed helicopter attacks against the North Vietnamese em- placements. During a third landing in the zone, Sergeant WILLIAMS provided accurate covering fire that allowed the crew chief to exit the aircraft and lead the beleaguered crew to his helicopter which subsequently departed the hazardous area for the medical facility at Dong Ha. Sergeant WILLIAMS' courage, superior professionalism and steadfast 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."
FOR THE PRESIDENT
/s/ H. W. Buse, Jr.
H. W. BUSE, JR.
After Action Report For This Mission
Boeing Company Rescue Citation
Sgt. Williams' History Index
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