The Air Medal

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Statement of  Major  R. D. Schreiber 

1stLt Wade was my co-pilot on 12 January 1969. I was the aircraft commander of  Swift 3.1 and the flight leader of Swift 3-1 end 3-2. The flight had been working routine resupply out of An Hoa for five and one-half hours  when the An Hoa DASC  diverted us to mission #53, en emergency reconnaissance extraction. Reconnence team SCANDENAVIA was pinned down by enemy fire and were located in a bomb crater which was surrounded by trees which were 60 to 70 feet tall.. After contacting the mission coordinator, HOSTAGE Oscar, it was decided that calling in fixed wing air strikes would be extremely dangerous to the recon team since enemy positions were located no more than 40 to 50 meters from their position and that it would be necessary to attempt the extraction without the usual zone preparation. As we initiated the first approach our aircraft came under hostile fire from all sides and it was necessary to abort the approach.  HOSTAGE Oscar informed us that Comprise 6-0 and 6-1 two supporting UH-1E gunships, would flank our aircraft's approach to the zone if we decided to attempt the extraction again. After completing the second approach we came to a hover above the zone and the hoist extraction was begun. Our aircraft was subjected to intense enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire continuously during the 10 to 15 minutes we hovered above the zone. lstItWade was extremely calm and vigilant during this operation, performing all of his duties with admirable professionalism. He was constantly checking the flight instruments sighting enemy movements and muzzle flashes which enabled him to direct the gunner’s fire to many enemy positions, and handled all radio communications  making it possible  for me to give complete concentration to the task of holding the aircraft in a steady hover for a prolonged period or time. Most impressive was 1stLt Wades professional attitude and military bearing, He was at all times  confident  optimistic and calm displaying much bravery and courage in the face of intense hostile fire, and serving as an inspiration for the rest of the crew.  Much of the successful completion, of this very demanding mission can be attributed to Lt. Wade’s valor and devotion to duty.  His courage, concern for the welfare of fellow Marines, disregard for personnel safety and professional aeronautical knowledge are completely in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


R.D. Schreiber



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