Thomas E. Fitzgerald, Jr.

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Staff Sergeant Thomas E. Fitzgerald, Jr., for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a C-130E Flight Engineer at the Cement Plant Airfield, Republic of Vietnam on 11 March 1970. On that date, Sergeant Fitzgerald’s crew was tasked with three emergency re-supply missions to deliver 54,000 pounds of aircraft fuel by Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System. Flying only ten feet above the terrain and despite marginal weather, congested air traffic caused by helicopters assisting a convoy that had been ambushed by enemy ground forces, limited communications, and repeated hostile ground fire against their own aircraft, Sergeant Fitzgerald and his crew completed all three airdrops, ensuring the successful delivery of the urgently needed fuel. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Fitzgerald reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.