The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL to
FIRST LIEUTENANT THOMAS J. SULLIVAN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action 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. Late on the afternoon of 7 February 1969, Fist Lieutenant Sullivan launched as Aircraft Commander aboard a CH-46 transport helicopter assigned to helilift a recovery team to a crash site in Quang Nam Province to retrieve five fatally injured Marines whose aircraft had come under intense hostile fire and crashed while engaged in a medical evacuation mission. Arriving over the designated area, he ignored the enemy fire directed against his helicopter as he orbited the area and was briefed on the ground situation. Undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of hostile small arms, automatic weapons, and machine gun fire, he skillfully directed the delivery of his crew's suppressive machine gun fire and fearlessly maneuvered through the hail of enemy fire to land near the downed aircraft. Oblivious to the hostile rounds impacting near his CH-46, he resolutely remained in his dangerously exposed position while his recovery team disembarked and three wounded Marines were placed aboard. Departing the area for the nearest med- ical facility, he disembarked the casualties and quickly returned to the belea- guered Marines' position. Despite the darkness, adverse weather, and the increasing intensity of enemy fire, First Lieutenant Sullivan completely disregar- ded his own safety as he boldly maneuvered his CH-46 into the hazardous area and resolutely held his position on the ground until the Marine casualties and salvaged items were placed aboard and the recovery team embarked before man- euvering his heavily loaded helicopter out of he dangerous area and departing for the Marble Mountain Air Facility. By his courage, superior airmanship and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal risk, First Lieutenant Sullivan was instrumental in the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and upheld 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
|1stLt. Thomas J. Sullivan||Pilot|
|1stLt. William A. Beebe||Copilot|
|Cpl. John W. Allen||Crew Chief|
|Cpl. Franklin B. Jones||Gunner|
|Cpl. Gary C. Baird||Gunner|
|Lt. (MC) USN Clay Linkous||Flight Surgeon|
After Action Report
The narrative of the medical evacuation which relates to this award for valor being presented may be viewed by clicking here.
Silver Star Medal Citation provided by:
Mrs. Thomas J. (Nanci) Sullivan
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