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Award - Ronald A. Radcliffe


Silver Star

DSCThe President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain (Infantry) Ronald A. Radcliffe (ASN: 0-16684966), United States Army, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force on 20 February 1972, in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain Radcliffe distinguished himself while serving as Pilot of a Light Observation Scout helicopter with Troop F, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade, during a rescue mission. On that date, Captain Radcliffe received a call for assistance when another scout helicopter from his Troop was shot down in the notoriously dangerous mushroom area near Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. He arrived on station five minutes later, and began making low-level passes to mark the crash site with smoke grenades. He immediately began receiving machinegun and small arms fire, sustaining several hits in the aircraft. When his helicopter developed a severe vibration, he was forced to break station to check out his aircraft for damages. Ascertaining that it was still flyable, he ordered his two crew members to stay behind. He immediately took off and continued to mark the crash site so ARVN recondos could be inserted to secure the area. After this was completed he landed his own helicopter in the landing zone to extract the sole survivor of the crash. At the same time, he vectored a utility helicopter into the landing zone to extract the bodies of the two dead crew members. During the whole sequence of events, Captain Radcliffe flew through the heavily defended area approximately forty to fifty times, remaining under fire approximately 80% of the time. His crew killed an estimated ten to twelve enemy, knocked out a machinegun position, and his aircraft sustained twenty-nine hits. His infectious courage, dogged determination and skilled expertise as a pilot proved to be the domineering force during the rescue efforts. Captain Radcliffe's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Aviation Brigade, General Orders No. 1469 (May 23, 1972)

Action Date: 20-Feb-72

Service: Army

Rank: Captain

Company: Troop F

Regiment: 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade