Johnny R. Abbe

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Specialist Four Johnny R. Abbe for heroism while participating in aerial flight as evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Four Abbe distinguished himself by exceptional valorous actions on 8 February 1971, while serving as a Crew Chief for the 174th Aviation Company. On that date, while participating in a combat assault in the Republic of Vietnam, a helicopter departing the landing zone received several direct hits from hostile forces and burst into flames. Specialist Four Abbe’s aircraft followed the burning ship to where it crashed to attempt a rescue of the crew. The rugged terrain made it impossible to land so, without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Specialist Four Abbe leaped out of his aircraft, which was hovering at ten feet, to help aid the downed crew. When he jumped, his foot struck a bomb crater, causing him to injure his leg. Despite his wounds, Specialist Four Abbe crawled to the crashed aircraft to render aid. He helped the crew members to climb into his helicopter, and when everyone was safely aboard he climbed into the ship. Because of his outstanding bravery and his disregard for his own personal safety, the four crew members were rescued without receiving serious injuries. Specialist Four Abbe’s personal heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 23rd Infantry Division, and the United States Army.