The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the AIR MEDAL (Bronze Star for the First Award) to
FIRST LIEUTENANT LARRY W. BRITTON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
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. Late on the night of 2 January 1969, First Lieutenant Britton launched as Copilot aboard a CH-46 transport helicopter assigned the emergency medical evacuation of a seriously wounded Marine from a unit heavily engaged with a hostile force in Quang Nam Province. Undaunted by adverse weather and total darkness which increased the difficulty of identi- fying the landing zone, located in hazardous terrain, he skillfully monitored his instruments and equipment and provided a continuous flow of vital information which enabled his aircraft to commence its approach to the landing zone while guided by only the dim light of a flashlight on the ground. When the increased intensity of enemy fire endangered his CH-46 and forced the landing to be aborted, he coordinated his second approach with suppressive fire of supporting gunships, but was again forced to wave off when his helicopter encountered an extremely heavy volume of hostile machine gun and automatic weapons fire and was struck by several rounds. Realizing the urgency of extracting the injured Marine whose condition was rapidly deteriorating, First Lieutenant Britton quickly assessed the damage and diligently monitored his instruments to report the first sign of malfunctions in his aircraft. While making a third approach, he skillfully coordinated the fire of the escorting gunships with the ground unit's tracer fire used to mark the landing zone in order to guide his CH-46 into the fire-swept area. Embarking the wounded man, he then alertly pinpointed and reported the location of hostile firing positions which enabled his pilot to take evasive actions as he lifted out of the dangerous area and departed for the nearest medical facility. First Lieutenant Britton's courage, superior airmanship and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were instrumental in 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.
Crew of YK-26
|1stLt. Maurice J. Quinlan||Pilot|
|1stLt. Larry W. Britton||Copilot|
|Cpl. Jerry D. Ganney||Crew Chief|
|Sgt. William K. Martin||Gunner|
|Cpl. Robert H. Edwards||Gunner|
After Action Report
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