Anthony J. Adessa

Anthony J. Adessa, Lieutenant Colonel, Air Defense Artillery Field Command, is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty. Lieutenant Colonel Adessa distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious achievement while serving as commanding officer of the Golf Course Army Airfield at Camp Radcliff. By utilizing the vast knowledge and experience gained through his previous combat tour, he organized, coordinated, and developed a complete renovation program to meet the demanding needs of air traffic control inherent in a combat operational environment. By personally flying under dangerous and adverse conditions to simulate combat emergencies and instrument conditions, he demonstrated the unique ability to resolve air traffic control problems and establilsh an extensive training program to provide the air traffic controllers with the necessary experience and confidence to cope with the myriad of possible combat emergencies. He displayed a constant awareness of the complexities of airmobile warfare, and as a result of his laudatory flight experience, he capably demonstrated all the intrinsic combat dangers that may be encountered and all the corrective measures that may be taken during combat zone flight operations. His continued manifestation of exemplary aerial professionalism and distinguished aerial achievements have culminated in an enviable record of successful mission accomplishments. His actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army. The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Anthony J. Adessa for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty. Lieutenant Colonel Adessa distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious achievement while serving as Aircraft Commander on a search and rescue mission in the flooded Binh Dinh Province where thousands of Americans and Vietnamese were stranded and drowning. Lieutenant Colonel Adessa saw two American soldiers on top of a truck which was nearly submerged in the treacherous flood waters and expertly maneuvered his aircraft toward the vehicle and, after several attempts, hovered in a dangerously small opening to successfully extract the exhausted men. He then flew to Hoi Nhon District where twenty-five Vietnamese were stranded and again skillfully hovered his aircraft into nearly impossible areas time and again until all the men were extracted. Through his courage and concern for his fellow man, he saved the lives of many Vietnamese military and civilian personnel. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Anthony Adessa, Lieutenant Colonel, Air Defense Artillery, Hdqtrs and Hdqtrs Company, 223rd Aviation Battalion (Combat), is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross(Second Oak Leaf Cluster)for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty: Lieutenant Colonel Adessa distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as aircraft commander of a utility helicopter. Just prior to darkness an Air Force forward air controller detected a large enemy force moving towards Phu Cat Air Base armed with automatic and crew served weapons. Although weather was below safe flight minimums, Lieutenant Colonel Adessa unhesitantly volunteered to fly his aircraft and assist in repelling the large enemy force. While enroute to the target area Lieutenant Colonel Adessa initiated a call to the two assault helicopter companies located at An Son and had them scramble two armed helicopter fire teams. As Lieutenant Colonel Adessa arrived on station he immediately, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, began making passes on the enemy position. As the armed helicopters arrived on station, Lieutenant Colonel Adessa again exposed himself to the intense automatic weapons fire, marking the enemy positions for the armed helicopters. Nearly five hours after the fierce battle began, the enemy force retreated into the mountains. Lieutenant Colonel Adessa’s conspicuous gallantry in the face of extreme personal danger resulted in the destruction of a well-equipped and well-armed enemy force, which, without his efforts, could have inflicted many casualties on friendly forces. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx