Allen C. Allen

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Allen C. Allen for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 19 June 1970, First Lieutenant Allen launched as Wingman in a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned a medical evacuation mission in Quang Nam Province.  When the lead aircraft experienced engine trouble and was forced to abort its mission and an urgent request was received to extract nine wounded Marines from a unit which was heavily engaged in combat with a numerically superior hostile force in Elephant Valley, First Lieutenant Allen resolutely elected to attempt the extraction despite the lack of a supporting transport.  Arriving at the entrance to Elephant Valley, he found that the clouds had descended to less than fifty feet above the valley floor and that heavy rains would severely limit visibility.  Realizing the urgency of evacuating the critically wounded Marines, First Lieutenant Allen, undaunted by the difficulty of maneuvering his aircraft over the rugged terrain under such hazardous conditions, descended to an altitude of twenty-five feet, decreased his airspeed, and followed a river as he proceeded up the valley until he arrived over the extraction site. Due to the thick jungle canopy, he established a hover nearly touching the treetops and lowered a jungle penetrator and extraction litter to the ground.  Undeterred by the constant threat of enemy fire and a rapidly diminishing fuel supply, he expertly maintained a steady hover for the forty-five minutes required to hoist the wounded men up through the canopy.  With less that fifteen minutes of fuel remaining, First Lieutenant Allen skillfully maneuvered his transport to conserve the remaining fuel supply and succeeded in reaching the hospital at DaNang just as the last of the fuel was expended.  First Lieutenant Allen’s courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were instrumental in accomplishing the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.