Thomas E. Anderson

1) The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major Thomas E. Anderson for heroism while participating in aerial flight. Major Anderson distinguished himself by heroic action on 21 January 1965 while serving as Mission Commander of a heliborne operation in the Republic of Vietnam. When an armed helicopter was forced down by Viet Cong fire less than two hundred meters from insurgent positions, Major Anderson, despite the heavy enemy fire, landed nearby to evacuate the crew and salvage the weapons. With his helicopter now overweight, Major Anderson successfully flew to safety only moments before enemy fire destroyed the downed aircraft. Major Anderson’s heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

2) The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E. Anderson for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary action, above and beyond the call of duty. Lieutenant Colonel Anderson distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while assigned as Aircraft Commander of a supporting aircraft on a defoliation mission. Through his precision flying and extreme accuracy, a hail of deadly fire was directed at the enemy positions. The situation demanded utmost professionalism as the area to be defoliated lay at the base of a mountain in a U-shaped box canyon. Intelligence reports confirmed one .50 caliber, three .30 caliber, and numerous individual positions around the area and all aircraft involved received heavy automatic weapons fire, heavy smoke, napalm and white phosphorus rockets in the canyon area, and multiple aircraft operating in severely restricted airspace, the most exacting flying skills were demanded. Lieutenant Colonel Anderson demonstrated personal bravery and unusual dedication in performing his mission. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.