Charles E. DeShields, Sr.

#1 Captain Charles E. DeShields, 11th Combat Aviation Battalion, United States Army 162nd Assault Helicopter Company, is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism, while participating in aerial flight, evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain DeShields dintinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on the night of 29 April 1966 while serving as aircraft commander of a helicopter during supply missions to two infantry battalions in Tay Ninh Provinces. Although Captain DeShields had already flown missions for over twelve hours that day, he readily volunteered to make the three night flights necessary to restore the material strength of these forces. After finding his way through the darkness to the selected landing zone, he was forced to make the landing without lights because the area was not secure from Viet Cong attack. Descending into a narrow opening in the trees, he guided himself only by a dim, flashing light on the ground. When this also disappeared in the dust raised by his rotors downwash, he had to complete the landing using only his instrument readings. Captain DeShields returned to his base, reloaded and flew a second delivery to the battlefield. As the left the zone, his twenty minute fuel supply warning light flashed. Quickly estimating flight distances, he reassured the infantry personnel that the remaining mission would be flown. For the third time he flew his loaded helicopter in darkness to the constricted landing zone and returned to base with only minutes of flying time remaining. Captain DeShields’ outstanding flying ability and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

#2 Captain Charles DeShields is awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism, while participating in aerial flight, evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain DeShields distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 17 April 1966 while flying an emergency resupply mission near Cu Chi. After volunteering to deliver emergency radios to a besieged battalion command post, he received intense hostile ground fire on his landing approach over the battlefield. Ignoring the hazards of entering the area, Captain DeShields dauntlessly flew through the intense fire and landed safely. During the attempt to reestablish communications, the Viet Cong broke through the perimeter and made a determined assault on the command post. Captain DeShields deliberately exposed himself to the attack as he crossed an open area to advise the ground commander of the need to evacuate the vulnerable helicopter. Perilously returning to his crew, he inspected the damaged aircraft, hastily started it and took off while receiving hostile fire. Once airborne, Captain DeShields directed armed helicopter strikes against the hostile forces. With complete disregrad for his safety, he dove directly over the insurgent positions, again sustaining damaging hits, to mark hostile targets. Through his exceptional courage, he helped repel a determined hostile attack. Captain DeShields’ outstanding flying ability and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

#3 Captain Charles E DeShields is awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight. During the period of 1 November 1966 to 15 November 1966 Captain DeShields was serving as an aircaft commander in general support of the 1st Infantry Division throughout Operation Battle Creek. He conducted numerous combat assaults under adverse weather conditions and while under unrelenting hostile ground fire. On 6 November he airlifted elements of the 1st Infantry Division into a landing zone approximately 15 kilometers northeast of Suoi Da Special Forces camp. On his final approach into the landing zone, Captain DeShields’ aircrat received intense Viet Cong automatic weapons fire from the southeast corner. He successfully landed the combat personnel and then executed a tight turn out of the landing zone while effectively suppressing the insurgent fire. This maneuver enabled the infantry elements to deploy with greater security. As the day progressed, Captain DeShields heroically returned to the combat area airlifting supplies and additional combat infantry units. On every occasion when hostile fire was reported, he successfully suppressed or destroyed it. On 11 November, Captain DeShields was on ready reaction standby at Tay Ninh. Shortly after 2300 hours, the Viet Cong launched a heavy mortar attack in an attempt to eliminate the helicopters while they were grounded. Captain DeShields, with complete disregard for his personal safety, ran to his aircraft and had ascended over the landing zone successfully within minutes of the attack, thereby preserving valuable equipment essential to the conduct of future combat operations. Furthermore he was directly responsible for the execution of a number of night emergency resupply missions into difficult landing areas. He operated his helicopter in a maximum gross weight configuration, thus assisting the combat battalions immeasurably in the successful exploitation of the military situation. During the conduct of this operation, Captain DeShields demonstrated outstanding courage, highly professional flying skill and a devotion to duty that reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. Captian DeShields’ actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division and the United States Army.