The President of the United States takes
pleasure in presenting the
LANCE CORPORAL JOHN E. HARRIS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with combat opera- tions against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 21 April 1969, Lance Corporal Harris launched as an Aerial Gunner aboard a CH-46 transport heli- copter assigned the emergency medical evacuation of three casualties from a Marine unit which was heavily engaged in combat with a large hostile force northwest of Liberty Bridge in Quang Nam Province. Undaunted by the inten- sity of the enemy fire which had thwarted three previous attempts to extract the wounded Marines, he boldly manned his machine gun and delivered such highly effective fire that the hostile fire was suppressed sufficiently to permit his aircraft to land in the hazardous area. When an extremely heavy volume of enemy fire erupted from a tree line on his side of the CH-46, Lance Corporal Harris ignored the enemy rounds impacting within inches of his machine gun mount as he fearlessly remained in his precarious position and delivered suppressive fire until the casualties were embarked and his helicopter departed the perilous area. Later the same day, his aircraft returned to the beleaguered unit in re- sponse to an urgent request to extract additional casualties. Although his CH-46 came under intense enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire as it approa- ched the landing zone, Lance Corporal Harris resolutely remained in his danger- ously exposed position and fired at the enemy until his helicopter landed safely in the fire-swept zone. Wounded in right shoulder, he fired his weapon with his left hand while two casualties were placed aboard and continued to deliver supp- ressive fire as his aircraft departed the zone. Lance Corporal Harris' 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.
Other Awards for This Mission
1stLt. Joseph P. "Pat" Donovan
(pilot), the Navy Cross
1stLt. 1stLt. Jeffry D. Monaghan (copilot), the Distinguished Flying Cross
Citation provided by:
Franklin A. Gulledge, Jr., Major USMC (Ret.), and
Awards Branch, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps
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