Michael T. Anderson

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Commander Michael T. Anderson, United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a Pilot of an F/A-18C aircraft while serving with Strike Fighter Squadron 81 embarked in USS SARATOGA (CV 60) on 17 January 1991. Tasked with planning and executing the suppression of the vast Iraqi integrated air defenses during the initial Allied air strike of Operation DESERT STORM, Commander Anderson’s brilliant plan encompassed over 60 aircraft from two aircraft carrier battle groups and coalition forces. His courageous and inspirational airborne leadership in the face of the most intense surface and air defenses of the war ensured the unqualified success of the strike. Commander Anderson’s ability to analyze enemy defenses instantly and redirect his limited suppression assets dramatically reduced coalition aircraft losses and enhanced the targeting accuracy of dedicated strike aircraft. His unwavering resolution in the face of the enemy was inspirational to his fellow aviators. Commander Anderson’s daring achievements, superb airmanship, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying condition reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.