The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
LASSEN, CLYDE EVERETT
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S.
Navy, Helicopter Support Squadron 7, Detachment 104, embarked in U.S.S. Preble
(DLG-15). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 19 June 1968. Entered
service at: Jacksonville, Fla. Born: 14 March 1942, Fort Myers, Fla.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as pilot and aircraft commander of a search and rescue helicopter, attached
to Helicopter Support Squadron 7, during operations against enemy forces in North Vietnam.
Launched shortly after midnight to attempt the rescue of 2 downed aviators, Lt. (then Lt.
(j.g.)) Lassen skillfully piloted his aircraft over unknown and hostile terrain to a
steep, tree-covered hill on which the survivors had been located. Although enemy fire was
being directed at the helicopter, he initially landed in a clear area near the base of the
hill, but, due to the dense undergrowth, the survivors could not reach the helicopter.
With the aid of flare illumination, Lt. Lassen successfully accomplished a hover between 2
trees at the survivors' position Illumination was abruptly lost as the last of the flares
were expended, and the helicopter collided with a tree, commencing a sharp descent.
Expertly righting his aircraft and maneuvering clear, Lt. Lassen remained in the area,
determined to make another rescue attempt, and encouraged the downed aviators while
awaiting resumption of flare illumination. After another unsuccessful, illuminated rescue
attempt, and with his fuel dangerously low and his aircraft significantly damaged, he
launched again and commenced another approach in the face of the continuing enemy
opposition. When flare illumination was again lost, Lt. Lassen, fully aware of the dangers
in clearly revealing his position to the enemy, turned on his landing lights and completed
the landing. On this attempt, the survivors were able to make their way to the helicopter.
En route to the coast he encountered and successfully evaded additional hostile
antiaircraft fire and, with fuel for only 5 minutes of flight remaining, landed safely
aboard U.S.S. Jouett (DLG-29) .