Richard D. Acott

Acott, Richard, Donald, Major, United States Marine Corps is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 22 February 1967, Major ACOTT launched as Flight Leader of a section of two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to provide close air support for a Marine ground unit which was under heavy enemy mortar fire in the Nui Lac San area south of DaNang. Arriving over the area, he quickly located the Tactical Air Controller (Airborne) orbiting over the mountainous terrain, despite a low haze layer. Aerial flares over the target had burned out while other flares in the area cast deep shadows over the hostile emplacements which were additionally obscured by haze and smoke. Although forced to maneuver his aircraft to avoid the aerial flares, he unhesitatingly commenced his attack. Despite intense enemy fire directed at his aircraft, he conducted repeated low level bombing and strafing runs, delivering his ordnance with unerring accuracy and silencing the hostile fire. Major ACOTT’s courage, exceptional aeronautical ability and unwavering devotion to duty contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.