The Distinguished Flying Cross


               The  President  of  the  United  States  takes  pleasure  in  presenting  the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to



for service as set forth in the following


                              "For heroism  and extraordinary achievement  in aerial flight while  serving with  Marine Medium  Helicopter Squadron 364,  Marine  Aircraft Group  Sixteen,  First Marine Aircraft Wing  in connection  with combat  opera- tions  against  the  enemy  in  the  Republic  of  Vietnam.   On  4  January  1970, Corporal Hill  launched as Crew Chief aboard  the lead aircraft in a flight of two CH-46  transport helicopters assigned the emergency  medical evacuation of two casualties  from  a Marine  unit  located  on a  mountain  ridge  in  the  Que Son Mountains  in  Quang Nam  Province.   After  the  first  extraction  attempt  was aborted  because of  the intensity of hostile fire  which damaged  the aircraft and wounded  the corpsman  on board,  the  ground  unit was  directed to  move  the medical  evacuees to  a more  secure position  while the  flight  proceeded  to An Hoa.  Following  the debarkation of  the wounded corpsman,  a reinforced metal litter  was obtained to replace  the jungle penetrator and the starboard passenger door was removed to facilitate the evacuation of the casualties.  Upon his flight's return to the embattled Marines, Corporal Hill, undaunted by the heavy volume of enemy fire  directed at his aircraft,  ably  provided  a continuous  flow of vital clearance  information  as he  skillfully guided  his helicopter  to a hover seventy five  feet above the pick-up site,  lowered the litter  to the  ground, and  carefully hoisted  the  wounded  Marine to  the doorway  of the  CH-46.   Due to  the mal- function  of an  arm assembly  on the  side hoist boom,  it proved  impossible to move  the litter,  in which  the patient  was strapped,  through the  doorway.  In- forming  his  pilot of  the situation,  Corporal Hill  cleared his pilot  to  leave the dangerous  area.  While  en  route to  An Hoa with  the patient  suspended in the litter beneath the boom hoist outside the aircraft,  Corporal Hill  saw the Marine begin to slip out of the litter.  Reacting instantly, he requested his pilot to reduce the airspeed and then,  completely disregarding  his own safety,  he laid down on the deck,  extended the upper part of  his body out of the doorway,  grabbed the arms ofthe medical evacuee,  and fearlessly remained  in his precarious  position during the remainder of the flight to the base.  The second casualty was acquired and flown toward  An Hoa  suspended below  the side boom hoist,  but when the straps  binding the patient  to the litter  began to come  apart approximately one mile from  the base,  Corporal Hill notified  the pilot of his situation  and boldly extended  himself once again far  outside  the CH-46,  wrapped his arms  around the wounded Marine, and held him in place while his aircraft was autorotated to a safe landing at the end of the runway.  Corporal Hill's courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."


/s/ H. W. Buse, Jr.


Crew of YK-16

1stLt. Harold B. Lamb Pilot
1stLt. Roger E. Combs Copilot
Sgt. William N. Hill Crew Chief
Rank? First? Streeter Gunner
Cpl. Mickey D. McCrary Gunner
HN First? Booth Corpsman

After Action Report

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