Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado
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Awards of the Silver Star
KURTH, MICHAEL M.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Michael M. Kurth, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-NINE (HMLA-369), during Operation DESERT STORM, on 26 February 1991. As the FIRST Marine Division attacked north to prevent Iraqi forces from escaping, Lieutenant Colonel Kurth's repeated acts of bravery in providing close in fire support to embattled Marines helped collapse the Iraqi defenses. With visibility nearly impossible due to hundreds of burning oil field fires, and with total disregard for his own safety, he flew under and perilously close to high voltage power lines. Placing himself at grave personal risk to intermittent Iraqi ground and anti-aircraft fire, Lieutenant Colonel Kurth flew continuously for ten hours during the most intense periods of combat, twice having to control crash his aircraft. Employing a commercially borrowed Forward Looking Infrared Radar and Laser Designator, he flew through the Al Burgan Oil Fields fires, between the AH-1W holding pattern and Task Force Ripper's forward lines, leading flight after flight of rearmed gunships to requesting units and then remaining dangerously exposed forward of friendly lines as he designated Iraqi armored vehicles for engagement. Lieutenant Colonel Kurth's courage and fearless dedication rallied fellow Marines and resulted in the destruction of as many as 70 Iraqi armored vehicles destroyed that day. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Lieutenant Colonel Kurth reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Services.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
RAY, EDDIE S.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Eddie S. Ray, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer, Company B, First Light Armored Infantry Battalion, Task Force Shepherd, FIRST Marine Division, in the Emirate of Kuwait on 25 February 1991. During the early morning hours of G+1 of Operation Desert Storm, an Iraqi mechanized division counter-attacked elements of the FIRST Marine Division in the vicinity west of the flame and smoke engulfed Burgan Oil Fields in Southeastern Kuwait. As dense black smoke shrouded the battlefield, an Iraqi mechanized brigade engaged the FIRST Marine Division Forward Command Post security forces. During the ensuing intense ten hour battle, Captain Ray repeatedly maneuvered his Light Armored Vehicle Company in harm's way, skillfully integrating his Light Armored Infantry weapons, reinforcing TOW's, and AH-1W Attack Helicopters to decisively defeat main Iraqi counter-attacks. Leading from the front and constantly exposed to large volumes of enemy fire, Captain Ray led swift, violent attacks directly into the face of the vastly larger enemy force. These attacks shocked the enemy, destroyed 50 enemy Armored Personnel Carriers, and resulted in the capture of over 250 Iraqi soldiers. Operating perilously close to the attacking enemy, Captain Ray's courage, composure under fire, and aggressive war fighting spirit were instrumental in the defeat of a major enemy effort and the successful defense of the Division Forward Command Post. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Captain Ray reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: April 25, 1954 at Los Angeles, California
Home Town: Seattle, Washington
ANDREWS, WILLIAM F. (POW)
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to William F. Andrews, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against the armed forces of the Republic of Iraq, while serving as a Pilot with the 10th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hahn Air Base, Germany, in action approximately 30 miles northwest of Basra, Iraq, on 27 February 1991, during Operation DESERT STORM. On that date, while leading an F-16 flight against heavily defended armor and mechanized forces, Captain Andrews' F-16 suffered major damage from enemy air defenses forcing him to eject in enemy territory. While in the parachute descent, he made contact with his flight using his survival radio and, despite being fired upon by enemy forces while in the parachute descent, provided an area description and direction to his flight. After landing, at which point he broke his leg, Captain Andrews made numerous threat calls and directed members of his flight to execute a break turn and to initiate decoy flares in response to surface-to-air missile launches. Shortly thereafter, he was in radio contact with NAIL 51, an OA-10 in the area, and twice directed the pilot to break and expend decoy flares when he saw missile launches. In both cases, the pilots indicated that they would have suffered direct hits from enemy infrared seeking missiles had Captain Andrews not made the threat calls from the ground. Captain Andrews provided the support despite the fact that he had just suffered a broken leg and could not move, was exposed in the open, and was being fired upon by enemy forces. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Andrews reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Desert Storm), 2@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, 4@ Meritorious Service Medals, 5@ Air Medals, Aerial Achievement Medals, 3@ Air Force Commendation Medals, Air Force Achievement Medal, Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal
JOHNSON, PAUL T.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Paul T. Johnson, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as an A-10 Pilot with the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, during Operation DESERT STORM on 21 January 1991. On that date, Captain Johnson was the flight lead on Sandy 57, a two-ship of A-10s tasked for search and rescue alert at a forward operating location. While en route, he received tasking to look for an F-14 crew that had been shot down the night before. During the next six hours he would lead his flight through three aerial refuelings, one attack on a possible SCUD missile site, and three hours of intensive searching deeper inside enemy territory than any A-10 had ever been. He risked his life as he had to fly at a mere 500 feet in order to pinpoint the survivor's location. When an enemy truck appeared to be heading toward his survivor, Captain Johnson directed his flight to destroy it, thus securing the rescue. It was his superior airmanship and his masterful techniques at orchestration that made this rescue happen - the first in the history of the A-10 weapons system. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Johnson reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: 1958 at Gadsden, Alabama
Home Town: Tennessee
Personal Awards: Air Force Cross (Desert Storm), Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, 2@ Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal U.S. Marine Corps
*DILLON, YOUNG M.
The is presented to Young M. Dillon, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Headquarters Battery, 82d Field Artillery Battalion, 3d Armored Division, in action during Operation Desert Storm.
Home Town: Aurora, Colorado
KROCK, KASEY A.
The is presented to Kasey A. Krock, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving with Company A, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (1), FIRST Marine Division in direct support of the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines as part of Task Force PAPA BEAR during Operation DESERT STORM in Kuwait on 24 February 1991. At the second Iraqi obstacle belt located southeast of Ahmet Al-Jabar Airbase, Lance Corporal Krock distinguished himself by twice braving enemy direct and indirect fire in order to successfully complete his mission, When a line charge fired from his MK 154 failed to detonate, he quickly gathered together the required equipment and proceeded outside to manually detonate the defective charge. After successfully doing so, Lance Corporal Krock re-entered the MK 154. the second line charge shot into the breach also malfunctioned and again lance Corporal Krock instantly exited the vehicle to manually prime it. This time, however, as the line charge did not lie exactly in line as the previous shot, he had to navigate through over 20 meters of live minefield in order to successfully prime the charge. After the detonation of the second line charge, the breach was complete and the assault element was able to successfully assault through the lane and defeat the defenders. Lance Corporal Krock's courage under fire, decisive leadership, and complete devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Home Town: Redding, CA
NOVAK, ROBERT L.
The Silver Star is presented to Robert L. Novak, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as TOW Squad Leader, Combined Anti-Armor Team II, Weapons Company, First Battalion, 8th Marines, Second Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force during Operation DESERT STORM from 24 to 27 February 1991. On 24 February, Corporal Novak's platoon was the lead element of the Battalion as it continued its attack north of the initial encountered small arms fire, Corporal Novak, acting through his own initiative, directed his squad into firing positions and personally acquired targets. Within minutes, he destroyed an enemy tank, two armored personnel carriers, and a towed artillery piece that was in the process of displacing. On the evening of 25 February, Corporal Novak's platoon was again screening forward of the Battalion when it encountered, at close range, six enemy armored personnel carriers. He directed his squad to firing positions and then began employing his own weapon, quickly destroying three enemy armored personnel carriers. Realizing his TOW missile system was out of ammunition, he used its thermal sight to adjust the fire of an adjacent vehicle heavy machinegun onto an enemy vehicle. Corporal Novak then observed a member of his squad whose weapon had malfunctioned. While under intense enemy fire, he ran to the aid of his Marine and assisted him in performing the necessary steps to correct the problem. Corporal Novak then directed the fire of the weapon onto an enemy vehicle which was subsequently destroyed. By his aggressive initiative, superior gunnery skills, and courageous devotion to duty, Corporal Novak reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
SWEENEY, CHRIS A.
The Silver Star is presented to Chris A. Sweeney, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as TOW Gunner, 1st Squad, 3d Section, Combined Anti-Armor Team I, Weapons Company, First Battalion, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force on 25 and 26 February 1991in support of Operation DESERT STORM. During the early morning hours of 25 February 1991, as Lance Corporal Sweeney's unit prepared to move north, an enemy armored battalion launched an aggressive counterattack against the Battalion's vulnerable right flank. He positioned his vehicle and within minutes destroyed two Iraqi tanks that were rapidly approaching the Battalion's flank. Without regard for his own safety while under heavy small arms and tank main gun fire, Lance Corporal Sweeney remained dangerously exposed for more than eleven seconds as he engaged and destroyed an enemy armored personnel carrier. Realizing his position had become untenable, he directed his vehicle into an abandoned enemy revetment and engaged and destroyed a third enemy tank. As the Battalion continued its attack, Lance Corporal Sweeney observed several enemy tanks in hull-defilade positions in prepared revetments. Recognizing the imminent threat to the Battalion, he quickly went into action destroying three enemy tanks with lightning speed. On 26 February 1991 as the Battalion continued its attack toward Kuwait City, Lance Corporal Sweeney engaged and destroyed two additional enemy tanks. Moments later, the Battalion's lead elements came under intense enemy fire from an Iraqi tank. Without hesitation, he moved forward and destroyed the enemy vehicle. Lance Corporal Sweeney's aggressive initiative, superior gunnery skills, and courageous devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
World War I
World War II
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