The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a gold star in lieu of the second 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 21 September 1969, First Lieutenant Schoener launched as Aircraft Commander of a CH-46 transport helicopter assigned the mission of extracting a six-man Marine reconnaissance team which was heavily engaged in combat with a large North Vietnamese Army force in a mountainous area approximately twenty miles southwest of DaNang. Arriving over the designated area, he was informed that the beleaguered patrol had moved along the side of a ridge to a steep slope in an area strewn with large boulders and surrounded by tall trees, which was deemed to be the most suitable pick-up site in the immediate area. Forced to abort his first approach when his helicopter came under intense hostile fire from both sides of his run-in heading, First Lieutenant Schoener skillfully coordinated his second approach with the rocket and strafing runs of supporting gunships and OV-10 Bronco aircraft and, undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of North Vietnamese fire directed at his CH-46, maneuvered to a seventy-five foot hover above the embattled Marines. With complete disregard for his own safety, he lowered his extraction ladder and remained in his precarious position until each member of the reconnaissance team had attached himself to the ladder. Lifting out of the perilous area with the Marines suspended below his aircraft, he expertly maneuvered his aircraft over the rugged terrain to An Hoa. First Lieutenant Schoener's courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering de- votion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in accomp- lishing 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-2
|1stLt. Charles J. Schoener||Pilot|
|1stLt. Paul Stansel||Copilot|
|Cpl. Larry M. Neuman||Crew Chief|
|Rank? Michael J. Kirkendall||Gunner|
After Action Report
Citation submitted by:
Charles J. "Chic" Schoener, Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
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