The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the AIR MEDAL (Bronze Star for the First Award) to
CORPORAL JAMES H. BANDISH
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 26 January 1969, Corporal Bandish launched as Crew Chief aboard a CH-46 transport helicopter assigned the emer- gency extraction of a reconnaissance team which was heavily engaged with a hostile force near the banks of a river in Quang Nam Province. When he found that the dense undergrowth in the designated area would require a hover extrac- tion, utilizing a newly designed ladder, he skillfully provided a continuous flow of vital clearance information that enabled his pilot to maneuver to a hover above the beleaguered team. Undaunted by the heavy volume of enemy fire directed against his aircraft, Corporal Bandish boldly remained in his danger- ously exposed position to assist the Marines in boarding his CH-46 until an engine malfunction forced the helicopter to abort its extraction and depart for a friendly position to disembark its passengers. Quickly locating and repairing he malfunction, Corporal Bandish resolutely returned to the hazardous area to extract the remainder of the team. Due to the fact that the aircraft's supply of fuel was nearly depleted, the pilot decided that the most effective way to com- plete the extraction was to back his aircraft over the river and lower the ramp on the river bank. Ignoring the intense hostile fire, Corporal Bandish calmly pro- vided precise clearance data which enabled the CH-46 to lower its ramp on the river bank, embark the remaining Marines, and depart the area. Corporal Bandish' courage superior professionalism and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger 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.
Crew of YK-11 & YK-7
|Maj. Ernest C. Cunningham||Pilot|
|1stLt. Donald E. MacHarg||Copilot|
|Cpl. James H. Bandish||Crew Chief|
|Cpl. Larry D. Rothrock||Gunner|
|Rank? F. A. Cartamone||Gunner|
After Action Report
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