Donald A. Athen

Staff Sergeant Donald A. Athen is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a C-123 loadmaster in the Republic of Vietnam on 9 January 1966. On that date, while dropping critically needed supplies to the United States Special Forces camp located at Kien Long, Sergeant Athen’s aircraft encountered intense hostile ground fire and suffered battle damage. Despite the hazardous conditions, the mission was successfully completed and contributed to the savings of the outpost and the more than 300 Vietnamese and American personnel there. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Athen reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.