The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to
LIEUTENANT COLONEL CHARLES R. DUNBAUGH
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as Commanding Officer of 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 afternoon of 31 August 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Dunbaugh launched as Section Leader of a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the mission of extracting two Marine reconnaissance teams that were heavily engaged in com- bat with numerically superior North Vietnamese Army forces in the Que Son Mountains south of An Hoa. Arriving over the first of the beleaguered patrols, he found that the Marines were located on the floor of a valley and were receiv- ing fire from all sides. Following air strikes by fixed-wing aircraft, Lieutenant Colonel Dunbaugh, undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire directed at his helicopter from the enemy positions on the surrounding hills, skillfully maneuvered his CH-46 to a landing near the embattled patrol. Ignoring the intense North Vietnamese fire, he fearlessly re- mained in his dangerously exposed position until all the Marines had climbed aboard and then departed the dangerous area for the An Hoa Combat Base. Returning to the mountainous area, he located the second reconnaissance team in a stream bed below a 100 foot jungle canopy and was informed that the patrol had captured a North Vietnamese Army soldier. While supporting gun- ships provided cover, Lieutenant Colonel Dunbaugh found an opening in the canopy, lowered his extraction cable, and then skillfully maneuvered his heli- copter straight down until the rotor blades were inches from the tree tops. The Marines immediately attached themselves and their prisoner to the cable and signaled that they were ready for the extraction. Expertly lifting the team from the jungle, Lieutenant Colonel Dunbaugh proceeded to An Hoa with the nine men suspended on the cable 120 feet below his aircraft and landed safely at the combat base. Lieutenant Colonel Dunbaugh's courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in saving the lives of several of his fellow Marines 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-9
|LtCol. Charles R. Dunbaugh||Pilot|
|1stLt. Dave McSorley||Copilot|
|Cpl. Richard J. Leffler||Crew Chief|
|Cpl. Martin T. Rabbitt||Gunner|
|Cpl. Ivan L. Sage||Gunner|
|SSgt. Leroy M. King||Gunner|
After Action Report
Citation provided by:
Mary Dunbaugh (Mrs. Charles R. Dunbaugh)
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