Thomas G. Berghuis

The President of the United states takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain Thomas G. Berghuis for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty. Captain Berghuis distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as pilot of the senior advisor’s helicopter for an Allied division combat assistance team. He was directing air strikes against extremely aggressive enemy forces that were heavily engaged with a friendly battalion. While directing these crucial air strikes, his fuel was running low. At this time, a request was received to evacuate a number of seriously wounded soldiers. Realizing that a medevac helicopter would have difficulty due to the onset of darkness and fierce enemy fire, it was decided to use the senior advisor’s helicopter to immediately extract the wounded. Without hesitation and without regard for his personal safety, he made an immediate combat assault landing and hovered his aircraft over waist-deep water while the wounded were loaded. Continuously, he and his aircraft received intense automatic weapons fire. As it departed the landing zone after the loading was completed, the helicopter received numerous direct hits in the engine and in the hydraulic control system. Demonstrating heroic flying skills and exemplary courage in the face of great danger, he struggled to keep his crippled aircraft airborne and flew at tree-top level over hostile territory while fighting to gain altitude. After achieving this feat in a magnificent display of courage and professionalism, he brought the aircraft down safely in a running landing. His conspicuous gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.