Michael C. Drury

MICHAEL C. DRURY For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron Twelve, Marine Aircraft Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Serving as Section Leader of two A-4 aircraft from Marine Attack Squadron 211, Major Drury was launched from the Marine Corps Air Station, Chu Lai, on the night of 12 August 1967 to provide immediate close air support for the emergency extraction of a beleaguered fifteen-man Marine reconnaissance team situated on the crest of Dong Ha Mountain. Upon arriving over the area, he was advised by the airborne controller that the Marines were dangerously low on ammunition and were surrounded by an undetermined number of North Vietnamese troops whose proximity precluded the use of fixed wing air support. With scant illumination, provided initially by two tank searchlights from Camp J. J. Carroll three miles distant and subsequently by flares from a circling flareship, Major Drury visually acquired the target and was cleared to commence his attack. Undaunted by continuous hostile ground fire and hazardous mountain terrain, he attacked the enemy position with complete disregard for his own safety, releasing his ordnance at minimum altitudes to ensure pinpoint accuracy. At the completion of the second napalm run, the commander of the reconnaissance team reported that the enemy force was retreating. Skillfully adjusting his runs on the target, Major Drury then made repeated low altitude snake-eye bombing attacks perpendicular to the mountain ridge as the enemy withdrew to the north. With unnerving accuracy and great effectiveness he repeatedly placed all ordnance directly on each specified target. Having expended his ordnance and low on fuel, Major Drury departed the area while his wingman continued the attack on the retreating enemy and two CH-46 and two UH-1E helicopters successfully retracted the reconnaissance team. By his brave and selfless actions, he was instrumental in preventing the enemy from overrunning the friendly positions and in facilitating the extraction. Major Drury’s outstanding aeronautical skill, fearless determination and unwavering dedication to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service