Better late than never - Maj (now Lt Col) Kettles, US Amry aviation MoH

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DKR, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Lt. Col. Charles Kettles | Medal of Honor Nominee | U.S. Army

    Later that day, the infantry battalion commander requested immediate, emergency extraction of the remaining 40 troops, and four members of Kettles’ unit who were stranded when their helicopter was destroyed by enemy fire. With only one flyable UH-1 helicopter remaining, Kettles volunteered to return to the deadly landing zone for a third time, leading a flight of six evacuation helicopters, five of which were from the 161st Aviation Company. During the extraction, Kettles was informed by the last helicopter that all personnel were onboard, and departed the landing zone accordingly. Army gunships supporting the evacuation also departed the area.

    “We got the 44 out. None of those names appear on the wall in Washington. There's nothing more important than that.”
    Retired Lt. Col. Charles Kettles

    Once airborne, Kettles was advised that eight troops had been unable to reach the evacuation helicopters due to the intense enemy fire. With complete disregard for his own safety, Kettles passed the lead to another helicopter and returned to the landing zone to rescue the remaining troops. Without gunship, artillery, or tactical aircraft support, the enemy concentrated all firepower on his lone aircraft, which was immediately damaged by a mortar round that damaged the tail boom, a main rotor blade, shattered both front windshields and the chin bubble and was further raked by small arms and machine gun fire.

    Despite the intense enemy fire, Kettles maintained control of the aircraft and situation, allowing time for the remaining eight Soldiers to board the aircraft. In spite of the severe damage to his helicopter, Kettles once more skillfully guided his heavily damaged aircraft to safety. Without his courageous actions and superior flying skills, the last group of Soldiers and his crew would never have made it off the battlefield.

    Going back in a hailstorm of enemy fire....chopper shot to sh!t and still makes it back. As for the MoH - as in too many other cases, waaay to late, but better than never.
  2. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

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  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The most important thing about the Medal of Honor to me is that it is a symbol of the bravery and honor of our soldiers. For every one awarded the medal, there are many more that were just as brave and risked just as much, who died, or in the heat of the battle no one noticed, of for some reason were not awarded it. It is a very humbling thing to stand in our village cemetery and look the stones with the flags from the 4 th of July. There are graves there for men who fought in every war since the French and Indian war in the 1770' s or so to Iraq and the present time and one can only wonder at what they went through. When the USAAF bombers started bombing Germany in WWII, the losses were so high that it was in theory impossible to survive for 25 missions and yet when ever conditions were right they climbed into their airplanes and flew. The same thing could be said of those in Korea, Viet Nam and the wars of today. I honor those men, past, present, and future in all of our armed forces who "just did their job" and hope we all remember them in our prayers.
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  4. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Every person that chooses to serve their country on the battlefield is a hero, and every person that died fighting instead of running is a hero among heroes.
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  5. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    if not honoured on a wall then surly in our hearts semper fi
    Ganado likes this.
  6. svjoe

    svjoe Angry Monkey

    Long overdue........about time!!
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