The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to
FIRST LIEUTENANT CHARLES J. SCHOENER
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 afternoon of 27 October 1969, First Lieutenant Schoener launched as Section Leader of a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency medical evac- uation of a seriously wounded Army of the Republic of Vietnam soldier from a landing zone in mountainous terrain twenty-two miles southwest of DaNang. Arriving over the designated area, he was informed by the pilot of an escorting gunship that the heavy overcast and low-lying fog and cloud layers prevented him from determining the precise location of the casualty. After approximately ten minutes, the ground unit reported that the clouds were dissipating enough for them to see the gunships and that they would ignite an illumination grenade to mark the landing zone. Undeterred by severely restricted visibility and the accompanying difficulties encountered as he maneuvered his aircraft over the rugged terrain, First Lieutenant Schoener resolutely elected to immediately attempt a landing when he saw that the clouds were once again beginning to close in on the friendly position. As he turned on his final approach into the zone, his aircraft came under intense hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire from enemy positions on the mountainside and valley floor, several rounds of which struck his CH-46. Undaunted, First Lieutenant Schoener boldly con- tinued his approach, skillfully maneuvered to a landing, and quickly embarked the wounded soldier. Expertly utilizing his instruments, he then lifted through a heavy cloud layer and departed for the medical facility at DaNang. First Lieutenant Shoener's 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.
Crew of YK-5
|1stLt. Charles J. "Chic" Schoener||Pilot|
|1stLt. Stephen M. Wistrand||Copilot|
|MGySgt.Dennis T. Rhodes||Crew Chief|
|Rank? L. M. Kims||Gunner|
|HM1 T. D. Burnette||Corpsman|
After Action Report
Citation provided by:
Charles J. "Chic" Schoener, Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
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