Jerry R. Barnes

Barnes, Jerry R. is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. First Lieutenant Artillery, United States Army Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 20th Artillery. For extraordinary heroism while participating in aerial flight. First Lieutenant Barnes distinguished himself by heroism in action on November 24, 1966, while serving as pilot of an aerial rocket artillery helicopter during a fire mission in support of Operation Thayer II in the Republic of Vietnam. When the OH-13 observation helicopter directing the mission was downed by hostile fire and crashed near two enemy bunker systems, Lieutenant Barnes, with complete disregard for his own safety, landed his aircraft in a flooded rice paddy fifteen meters from the crash site in an attempt to rescue the downed crew. Although he immediately came under intense enemy automatic weapons fire from two locations, Lieutenant Barnes remained calm and kept control of the helicopter while the door gunner jumped out and rescued the downed crew. As quickly as the injured aviators were taken aboard, Lieutenant Barnes successfully departed the area while under fire, and safely delivered the crew to a medical facility. Lieutenant Barnes’ outstanding display of flying ability and devotion to duty stands in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.