Distinguished Flying Crosses and
Single Mission Air Medals
17 December 1968

After Action Reports for 17 December 1968 reflect this mission (Mission #55) consisted of four CH-46 transports that departed Marble Mountain Air Facility at 0750.  The pick up point for all infantry troops was AT898464, a spot about 2,000 meters east of An Hoa Combat Support Base.  The insertion point for all was AT962553, the southern bank of the Song Thu Bon (river) which was commonly known as the Hoi An River since it flowed eastward to the coastal town of Hoi An.  The flight made three trips into this hot zone with 15 troops each time.  The flight refueled at An Hoa Combat Base and delivered another two sorties of troops into the landing zone.  After Action Reports indicate enemy fire was received by all aircraft on each of the five trips to the zone.  A total of 300 infantry troops were inserted and the aerial gunners expended 6,100 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition.  No information on the gun ships that supported them.  The flight returned to Marble Mountain Air Facility at 1110. 

Aircraft and Crews of the Mission

Swift 1-1, YK-2
Swift 1-2, YK-19
Maj. Edward W. Graham Pilot Maj. Owen C. Baker Pilot
1stLt. Carmine A. Casciano Copilot 1stLt. Donald E. Macharg Copilot
Cpl. George W. Wharton, III Crew Chief Cpl. LawrenceWallace Crew Chief
Cpl. Leonrad L. LaSac Gunner Sgt. Ronald E. Clemons Gunner
Sgt. Dolph Quijano, Jr. Gunner Cpl. Stephen E. Russo Gunner
(After Action Report #1)
(After Action Report #2)
 Swift 1-3, YK-7
 Swift 1-4, YK-26
Maj. Ernest C. Cunningham Pilot 1stLt. John L. Brennan Pilot
1stLt. Robert W. Armenio Copilot 1stLt. C. L. Story Copilot
Cpl. Dean A. Reiner Crew Chief LCpl. R. Mike Clausen Crew Chief
Sgt. Ralph H. Herbin Gunner Cpl. Robert H. Edwards Gunner
LCpl. Ronald L. Dion Gunner LCpl. James R. Nelson Gunner
(After Action Report #3)
(After Action Report #4)
Recognition of Valor Without Citations

The webmaster has located and reproduced awards given those crew members highlighted above (links to the award).  Based on this author's knowledge of the awards system in effect during the Vietnam War, and based on the fact that all aircraft and crews experienced identical hostile environment on their five trips to the LZ identified as AT962553, all pilots have been recorded in this historical record to have received the Distinguished Flying Cross.  All other members of the crew have been recognized for receiving a Single Mission Air Medal.  Colonel Dave "Smiley" McSorely, USMC (Ret), a former Awards Officer with HMM-364 concurs with the research and assumptions of the webmaster given the awards system in place at the time.


Dean A. Reiner, Crew Chief of YK-7, states that a wingman thought YK-7 was on
fire for a moment due to the smoke emanating from the .50 caliber rounds being
pumped out by Sgt. Ralph H. Herbin and LCpl. Ronald L. Dion

Back Browser  or  Home