Edward S. Basanez

Lieutenant Colonel Edward S. Basanez is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 September 1969. Lieutenant Colonel Basanez distinguished himself while serving as Artillery Support Commander in direct support of the ambush patrols of the 2d Battalion (Airmobile), 506th Infantry, near the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam. When contact was made, Colonel Basanez directed his aircraft to fly to the scene of the action, where he personally directed the firing of artillery illumination. He directed the pilot of his helicopter to fly at a very low altitude in order to better observe the action under reduced visibility conditions due to foul weather. In so doing, he came into close contact with the ground action occuring in a heavily wooded area. As he continued on low-level sweeps of the area, he effectively employed the helicopter which blinded a Viet Cong soldier lurking in the woods and prohibited him from killing an infantry platoon sergeant who was also in the woods. The helicopter’s support, directed by Colonel Basanez enabled the sergeant to engage the enemy soldier and kill him in close combat. Colonel Basanez remained on station in the aircraft for over two hours assisting the ambush patrols until their positions were secured. Due to the artillery coordinaton and illumination support provided by Colonel Basanez seven enemy soldiers were killed one was captured and three enemy weapons were confiscated. Lieutenant Colonel Basanez’s personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.