The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to
FIRST LIEUTENANT THOMAS J. SULLIVAN
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 18 January 1969, First Lieutenant Sullivan launched as Aircraft Commander aboard a CH-46 transport helicopter assigned the mission of evacuating two seriously wounded Marines. Skillfully locating the designated area despite adverse weather con- ditions and resulting poor visibility, he effected a rendezvous with the support- ing helicopter gunship and commenced his first approach to the landing zone. Forced to abort the attempt due to the extremely intense hostile fire, he alertly located the enemy positions, and when two observation aircraft arrived, he ably directed their rocket rounds at the hostile target. When Fist Lieutenant Sullivan was cleared into the zone and was executing his second approach, his aircraft again came under intense small arms and automatic weapons fire. With com- plete disregard for his own safety, he continued his efforts until he had landed the aircraft and embarked the two wounded men. While en route to the nearest medical facility, he was informed that there was another emergency medical evacuation nearby. Aware that he had only enough fuel for one attempt and that his helicopter would doubtlessly again come under enemy fire, he fearlessly maneuvered his aircraft into the zone and skillfully accomplished the second medical evacuation despite hostile ground fire. First Lieutenant Sullivan's courage, superb aeronautical ability and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in saving the lives of three wounded Marines 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.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC
|1stLt. Thomas J. Sullivan||Pilot|
|1stLt. Zebedee L. Rush||Copilot|
|Sgt. John W. McRae||Crew Chief|
|Rank? G. A. Hamilton||Gunner|
|Rank? C. G. Wright||Gunner|
|HN D. C. Franz||Corpsman|
After Action Report