The Silver Star


                The  President  of  the  United  States  takes  pride  in  presenting   the SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following


                         For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as  a  Pilot  with  Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, in  the  Republic  of Vietnam on 14 April 1969,  First Lieutenant Nickerson  launched as the  Aircraft Commander  of a CH-46  transport helicopter  assigned the  emergency  medical evacuation of a seriously wounded  Marine located 3000 feet up a  mountainside in a jungle area southwest of DaNang.  Arriving over the designated location, he observed that the rugged terrain dictated the  utilization of a hoist and, although he realized  the danger of being  fired upon  by hostile soldiers in the vicinity, he unhesitatingly  directed his aircraft  to a hover over  the  site.  As  the  hoist  was being lowered,  the transport came under a heavy volume of  automatic weapons fire  from enemy soldiers occupying a ridge only 50 meters distant and sustained extensive  battle damage.   Although  his  helicopter  was  vibrating  badly,  First Lieutenant  Nickerson  struggled  to  maintain  control  and,  when  vital  engine systems  failed  150  feet above the trees,  he displayed superb airmanship  as  he shouted   encouragement  to  his crew  and   commenced   guiding   the  crippled aircraft  to an upright landing  in the  jungle canopy.  Although  he was mortally wounded  during  the  emergency  landing,  his  heroic  and  timely  actions were instrumental in saving the lives of four crew members.   By his courage, superior aeronautical  ability   and   unwavering   devotion   to   duty,   First   Lieutenant Nickerson  up  held  the  highest traditions of the Marine Corps  and  the United States Naval Service.  He gallantly gave his life for his country. 

                                                                                   For the President

                                                                                    /s/ John H. Chafee

                                                                                    Secretary of the Navy

Lt. Michael K. Nickerson's History Index

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