Michael J. Alvarado

#1) The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Warrant Officer Michael J. Alvarado for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary action in the Republic of Vietnam. On 17 October, 1967, Warrant Officer Alvarado was serving as the Aircraft Commander of a medical evacuation helicopter sent to assist embattled friendly troops near Lai Khe. Upon arriving over the battle area, he discovered that the hastily cut landing zone was very small and surrounded on all sides by trees and tall brush. He, nevertheless, directed his pilot to make a one hundred foot vertical descent into the confined space to provide sorely needed medical evacuation. On the third sortie into the area, Warrant Officer Alvarado’s aircraft became the target of intensive hostile fire. He instructed his pilot to alter course to engage the insurgent positions and directed the fire of his door gunners until the enemy positions were silenced. During the entire mission he was constantly alert for enemy positions, advising his pilot and crew, and continually directing the aircraft’s descent into the perilous landing zone to provide prompt and expeditious medical attention to the wounded friendly forces. His selfless courage and bold initiative were directly responsible for saving numerous American lives and significantly contributed to the successful outcome of the encounter. Warrant Officer Alvarado’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

#2) The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Warrant Officer Michael J. Alvarado for heroism while participating in aerial flight. On 1 February 1968, Warrant Officer Alvarado was serving as the Pilot aboard the division artillery commander’s helicopter. He was flying near An My when he observed a large number of Viet Cong moving throughout the village and running from it. Warrant Officer Alvarado skillfully maneuvered his aircraft to a perilously low level enabling the fleeing Viet Cong to be attacked. For more than two hours he made continuous passes over the enemy-infested area while his craft remained exposed to a concentrated hail of small arms, rocket, and automatic weapons fire. Although the aircraft was normally used as a command and control ship, Warrant Officer Alvarado maneuvered it so that suppressive fire could be placed on the enemy positions. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Warrant Officer Alvarado continued to fly at the low level until the enemy was dispersed. The courageous initiative, perseverance, and professional skill displayed by Warrant Officer Alvarado under extremely hazardous conditions were instrumental in causing considerable hostile casualties and contributed significantly toward the successful outcome of the mission. Warrant Officer Alvarado’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

#3) The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Warrant Officer Michael J. Alvarado for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. On 12 May 1968, Warrant Officer Alvarado distinguished himself as a Pilot of a helicopter covering an inspection operation four kilometers southwest of Lai Khe. Warrant Officer Alvarado was piloting the division artillery commander who was directing artillery support for the ground operation. While circling the landing zone, Warrant Officer Alvarado observed a squad of Viet Cong fleeing the area. He maneuvered his aircraft over the enemy-infested area, disregarding his own safety. Upon discovering the presence of a larger insurgent force, he continued flying low over the area, marking targets and placing devastating fire upon the enemy force. He continued his perilous search until all known Viet Cong positions had been taken under fire and destroyed. His quick reaction, courage and sound judgement contributed immeasurably to the rout of the insurgent force without a single friendly casualty. Warrant Officer Alvarado’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.