James H. Fitzgerald, Jr.

First Lieutenant James H. Fitzgerald, Jr. is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight. Lieutenant Fitzgerald distinguished himself by heroic action on 16 September 1963, in the Republic of Vietnam. On the evening of 16 September 1963, Lieutenant Fitzgerald was serving as pilot of the second aircraft in a flight of three UH-1B helicopters that were conducting a resupply mission for the 7th Vietnamese Infantry Division. Due to the fierceness of the fire flight, which was in progress at this time, a resupply mission was required, even though it was during the hours of darkness. Upon arrival at the battle area, it was determined that the volume of fire was too heavy for a safe landing, so all aircraft were ordered to orbit until a landing site could be set up. During this period the aircraft were subjected to hostile fire. Lieutenant Fitzgerald made a successful approach under intense fire and although it was dark he made a smooth landing in an extremely small area. Although his aircraft was continually under fire, he remained calm and directed his attention to the job at hand. When the cargo was offloaded, he accompanied the flight to its home station. Lieutenant Fitzgerald’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.