The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to
FIRST LIEUTENANT WILLIAM O. HOPPER
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 morning of 28 January 1969, First Lieutenant Hopper launched as Aircraft Commander aboard the third aircraft in a flight of seven CH-46 transport helicopters assign- ed to helilift 600 Marines into an enemy controlled area south of DaNang. After encountering only sporadic hostile fire while inserting his assault teams during the first two waves into the landing zone, First Lieutenant Hopper came under an extremely heavy volume of enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire during his third landing when the zone was shifted to another site, several rounds of which struck his CH-46 and severely damaged other helicopters in his flight. Returning to An Hoa, he was informed that only his aircraft and one other were in operable condition to continue the mission. Realizing the urgency of reinforcing the ground units as expeditiously as possible, First Lieutenant Hopper resolutely elected to continue the mission. Undaunted by the intensity of the hostile fire, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly maneu- vered his helicopter into the fire-swept area on nine more insertions to complete the helilift operations. First Lieutenant Hopper's courage, superior airmanship and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and were in keep- ing with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
FOR THE PRESIDENT
/s/ W. H. Buse, Jr.
W. H. BUSE, JR.
Crew of YK-16
|1stLt. William O. Hopper||Pilot|
|1stLt. Donald E. Mac Harg||Copilot|
|Sgt. Royce B. Johnson||Crew Chief|
|F. A. Cardamone||Gunner|
|R. G. Morman||Gunner|
After Action Report
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