The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a gold star in lieu of the second DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to
FIRST LIEUTENANT JOHN R. HARRIS
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 night of 21 July 1969, First Lieutenant Harris launched as Section Leader of a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency medical evacuation of five casualties from a Marine unit which was heavily engaged in combat with a hos- tile force eighteen miles southwest of DaNang. Arriving over the designated area, he found that the small landing zone was surrounded by trees, contained numer- ous bomb craters, and was marked only by a flashing strobe light. When his aircraft came under intense enemy mortar, small arms, and automatic weapons fire and was severely damaged as it landed in the confined zone, First Lieutenant Harris quickly directed his CH-46 out of the fire-swept area and established an orbit over the landing zone while his crew chief assessed the damage. Determin- ing that his aircraft was still in operating condition, and deeply concerned for the wounded Marines, First Lieutenant Harris resolutely elected to continue the extraction attempt. Undaunted by the heavy volume of enemy fire directed at his aircraft, he reentered the hazardous area, executed a landing, and fearlessly remained in his precarious position on the ground until the casualties were placed aboard. Despite the extensive damage sustained by his CH-46 from hostile fire, he skillfully maneuvered out of the perilous area and proceeded to the hospital at DaNang. First Lieutenant Harris' courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in accomplishing 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.
|1stLt. John R. Harris||Pilot|
|1stLt. Charles K. Butler||Copilot|
|Cpl. John Nolan||Crew Chief|
|Cpl. Thomas Cutler||Gunner|
|Cpl. John H. Harris, Jr.||Gunner|
|HN. V. T. Sloan||Corpsman|
After Action Report
1stLt. John R. Harris' History Index