Robert P. Duker

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major Robert P. Duker for heroism while participating in aerial flight. On 18 October 1967 Major Duker was serving with the command group of his brigade. He was aboard a command and control helicopter, controlling a seal and search operation in the vicinity of the village of Tan Binh. Lead elements of the brigade forces were engaged in fighting the Viet Cong, who were entrenched in various well-concealed positions. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Major Duker had his aircraft make numerous low-level passes directly over the enemy so that he could observe the hostile positions and advise the ground forces of their location. Each time the craft was maneuvered in a perilously low pass, it was met by a hail of hostile rounds. Throughout the day from his vantage point aloft, Major Duker gave the commanders of the ground forces valuable information regarding the disposition of the insurgents. He constantly circled the embattled area in his craft despite the continuous anti-aircraft fire to which the helicopter was subjected. His presence above the critical points of enemy contact and his excellent leadership during the encounter were instrumental in insuring the successful outcome of the encounter. Through his courageous initiative and exceptional perseverance, Major Duker assisted in the collection of extensive information concerning the guerilla infrastructure in the area. Major Duker’s 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.