The Presidentof the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS posthumously to
FIRST LIEUTENANT CHARLES K. BUTLER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot 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 the after- noon of 25 August 1969, First Lieutenant Charles K. Butler launched as Wing- man in a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency mission of helilifting reinforcements from Landing Zone Baldy to elements of the Seventh Marines that were heavily engaged in combat with a large North Vietnamese Army Force north of Landing Zone West. Undaunted by the ex- tremely heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire directed at his aircraft from enemy positions along ridges on both sides of the landing zone, he skillfully coordinated his low-altitude approach with the firing runs of support- ing gunships and boldly maneuvered his helicopter to a landing in the fire-swept area, discharging the Marines, and quickly departing the dangerous zone. Following the insertion of his second increment, he resolutely returned to the hazardous area as darkness approached and successfully disembarked his third increment. When informed that elements of a company had sustained three casualties and were blocked from rejoining their main body by a North Viet- namese Army unit which surrounded them on three sides, First Lieutenant Butler, despite total darkness, completely disregarding his own safety as he again braved the intense hostile fire to extract the embattled Marines and trans- port them to the command post. After delivering the casualties to the nearest medical facility and refueling his CH-46, First Lieutenant Butler responded to an urgent request for an emergency resupply of ammunition and entered the pre- carious area for the fourth time to successfully deliver external loads of vital ordnance. First Lieutenant Butler's courage, superior airmanship, and unwaver- ing devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in accomplishing the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest tra- ditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
FOR THE PRESIDENT
/S/ H. W. Buse, Jr.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC
|1stLt. Charles K. Butler||Pilot|
|1stLt. Benjamine L. Williams||Copilot|
|LCpl. Richard J. Leffler||Crew Chief|
|Sgt. Randy G. Leonard||Gunner|
After Action Report
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