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Lyndon B. Johnson: Text of Five Presidential <B><font color='#cc3300'>Unit Citation</font></B>s Awarded for Heroic Action in Viet-Nam.
Lyndon
Lyndon B. Johnson
206 - Text of Five Presidential Unit Citations Awarded for Heroic Action in Viet-Nam.
April 26, 1965
Public Papers of the Presidents
Lyndon B. Johnson<br>1965: Book I
Lyndon B. Johnson
1965: Book I
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BY VIRTUE of the authority vested in me as president of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I have today awarded

THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION TO THE 514TH TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM AIR FORCE FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM AND OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE OF DUTY
The 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron, a unit of the Republic of Vietnam Air Force, is cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in combat against an armed enemy of the Republic of Vietnam throughout the period 1 January 1964 to 28 February 1965. Participating in daily actions in support of Republic of Vietnam ground operations, the courageous men of the 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron carried out their attacks on military targets with indomitable spirit and determination. The fierce determination to destroy the enemy displayed by the men of this unit was exemplified in the 6,000 sorties, and 13,000 flying hours compiled in support of ground operations during this period. Frequently, aircraft were landed just long enough to secure additional armament before continuing their attacks against the Communist aggressors threatening their homeland. The determined and daring attacks launched by the valiant men of the 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron against the heavily armed and fanatical Communist insurgents, in the face of fierce ground fire, had a demoralizing effect upon the enemy, raised the morale and fighting spirit of the supported ground troops, resulted in inestimable damage to the Communist aggressors in the loss of men and material, and were instrumental in stemming the tide of Communist aggression against the Republic of Vietnam during this period. While a ground count of the many enemy killed and wounded was impossible, the heavy losses inflicted upon the enemy by this unit are known to have been significant, severely restricting his ability or desire to conduct sustained ground operations. Despite being called upon to provide key personnel to cadre the organization of three additional fighter squadrons during this period, the 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron continued to carry out every assigned mission. The actions of the 514th Tactical Fighter Squadron reflect conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on the Republic of Vietnam.

BY VIRTUE of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I have today awarded

THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION TO THE 44TH RANGER BATTALION REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM ARMED FORCES FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM
The 44th Ranger Battalion is cited for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in Chuong Thien Province, Vietnam on 6 April 1965. On this date the 44th Ranger Battalion was reserve element of a larger force engaged in a search and destroy operation against two Viet Cong force battalions. At 1030 hours the Battalion was lifted by helicopter into battle when the lead infantry battalion accompanied by an armored personnel carrier troop were halted by intense fire delivered on their positions by the well-entrenched and camouflaged enemy. Although the enemy delivered withering machine gun fire on the men of the 44th Ranger Battalion as they entered the landing zone, they showed undaunted courage and indomitable fighting spirit as they immediately launched an assault through the infantry and armored units, freeing them for future commitment. Despite numerous casualties, this gallant unit carried out their fierce assault against an estimated enemy battalion. After routing the determined insurgents from their position by demoralizing hand-to-hand combat, the 44th Ranger Battalion turned their heroic attack directly into the main enemy defensive positions located on a main canal. In spite of the loss of their executive officer, a U.S. Army Advisor, and three helicopters during the lift, the remainder of the battalion pursued the attack with undaunted courage and steadfast determination against the fanatical forces manning the main defense. They succeeded in rolling up the flank of the enemy and causing them to withdraw in confusion, leaving behind over fifty dead and numerous weapons. The determined, courageous heliborne assault by the 44th Ranger Battalion was the major contribution to the success of the operation and was of the highest inspirational order. The actions of the 44th Ranger Battalion reflect conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on the Republic of Vietnam.

BY VIRTUE of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I have today awarded

THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION TO THE 197TH AVIATION COMPANY UNITED STATES ARMY FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN VIETNAM
The 197th Aviation Company (Armed Helicopter) is cited for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force near Duc Hoa, Republic of Vietnam during the period 1 through 3 April 1965. This Unit was operating in a Viet Cong infested area with the hazardous mission of selecting, reconnoitering, marking and providing suppressive fire on helicopter landing zones in support of ground forces of the Republic of Vietnam. At about 1400 hours on 1 April, the Unit was providing overhead cover for the first troop landing. As the troop carriers departed the landing zone, strong enemy automatic weapons fire was received. One unit aircraft was hit early in the fighting; the co-pilot was seriously wounded and the aircraft suffered major damage. During the conduct of subsequent troop landing and overhead cover missions, the Unit's helicopters continued to receive heavy automatic weapons fire which damaged six additional aircraft. In spite of the damage and casualties sustained, the aircraft were refueled, rearmed, and returned to action. During the afternoon the ground forces were heavily engaged and required helicopter fire support as well as armed escort for medical evacuation and resupply missions. These escorts were performed in a timely and efficient manner notwithstanding the continuous Viet Cong automatic weapons fire received. As darkness fell, a Viet Cong attack penetrated friendly positions resulting in the death of two U.S. Army Ground Advisors and the separation of another from his Unit; one helicopter landed in the face of heavy ground fire and rescued the Advisor. At daybreak on 2 April the Company resumed its missions. During the day reconnaissance and suppressive fire were provided for two additional troop lifts into separate landing zones. Again intense enemy fire was encountered and three aircraft sustained combat damage. The Viet Cong broke contact during the night. At about noon on 3 April a successful effort was made to regain contact by landing Republic of Vietnam forces to the rear of the insurgents. Again, landing zone reconnaissance and suppression were accomplished in the face of extremely heavy Viet Cong ground fire. The dogged determination, gallantry and indomitable spirit with which the 197th Aviation C o m p a n y successfully accomplished all assigned missions in the face of violent insurgent fire are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit on all members of the Unit who participated in this remarkable combat action.

BY VIRTUE of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I have today awarded

THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION TO THE 883D REGIONAL FORCE COMPANY REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM
The 883D Regional Force Company, a unit of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam is cited for extraordinary heroism in combat near Ha Tay, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam on 10 March 1965. The 883D Regional Force Company was assigned the defense of the village of Ha Tay as a part of the overall defense of the important district town of Hoai An. At 0300 hours on 9 March the 883D Company, with a strength of only 71 men, was attacked by a Viet Cong battalion of vastly superior strength. It was the Viet Cong plan to overrun Ha Tay and join forces with another battalion to seize Hoai An district headquarters occupying a narrow ridge above Ha Tay. The 883D Company withstood repeated enemy assaults, all of which were supported by intense mortar and recoilless rifle fire. Through the morning this unit made its gallant stand unaided by outside fire support. By 1100 hours, the Company had sustained over 30 killed in action or seriously wounded and had nearly exhausted its ammunition and grenades. The members of the Company were undaunted. They hid their automatic weapons and in a final desperate charge broke out of their encircled position to join a larger Vietnamese unit. This gallant stand completely disrupted the Viet Cong attack. The battalion attacking Ha Tay was prevented from joining the attack on Hoai An. Hoai An was saved and friendly forces gained time in which to mount a counterattack from outside the battle area. The counterattack was successful in driving the enemy from the area. The dogged defense of Ha Tay by the 883D Regional Force Company resulted in the death Of 221 Viet Cong and the capture of two machine guns. A vastly superior force had been held at bay for eleven hours and a major enemy attack had been disrupted. The actions of the 883D Regional Force Company reflect conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on the Republic of Vietnam.

BY VIRTUE of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I have today awarded

THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION TO THE 1ST AIR COMMANDO SQUADRON 34TH TACTICAL GROUP, 2D AIR DIVISION, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AND EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM
The 1st Air Commando Squadron is cited for outstanding performance of duty and extraordinary heroism while providing day and night training, combat and combat service support to units of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces who were in conflict against an armed enemy throughout the Reo public of Vietnam during the period 1 August 1964 through 15 April 1965. During this period the C-47 section of the 1st Air Commando Squadron, with a total of only 6 C-47 aircraft and in the face of heavy enemy ground fire flew 3,763 sorties, airlifting 2,187,000 pounds of cargo and 16,862 passengers and airdropping 1,000,000 pounds of cargo and 1,125 troops. Ground lighting missions totalled 3,341 flares. The U10 psychological warfare section of the 1st Air Commando Squadron, consisting of only 3 aircraft, during the same period flew 1,600 loudspeaker and leaflet dropping sorties. These extremely hazardous missions were carried out without regard for intensive efforts by the enemy to silence the voice of truth. The AIE section of the 1st Air Commando Squadron flew 6,700 missions while training VNAF pilots in ground support missions, braving intense enemy fire from hard core Communist troops threatening friendly ground units. The intensity of antiaircraft fire and the dangers posed by entrenched and well armed insurgents did not daunt or deter the 1st Air Commando Squadron, day or night, in their collective determination to support, beyond the expected endurance of man or machine, the courageous soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam ground forces. The gallantry, courage, ability and indomitable fighting spirit displayed by the 1st Air Commando Squadron reflect great credit upon the members of the unit and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Air Force.


Note: The White House release, announcing the awarding of the citations, stated that the awards to the two units of the United States Armed Forces and the three military units of the Republic of Viet-Nam were the first Presidential Unit Citations to be given for service in Viet-Nam. The release further stated that they were recommended by Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Commander of U.S. Forces in Viet-Nam, and approved by the Secretary of Defense.
Citation: Lyndon B. Johnson: "Text of Five Presidential Unit Citations Awarded for Heroic Action in Viet-Nam.," April 26, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=26915.
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