Jack W. Blien

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Jack W. Blien, Captain, Transportation Corps, United States Army, 176th Assault Helicopter Company, 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty. Captain Blien distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 14 August 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, Captain Blien was serving as an aircraft commander on a mission to land his aircraft at the Forward Command Post for the 2d Battalion, 327th Infantry, insert the Brigade Deputy Commander, and extract a seriously wounded soldier.  The Battalion Command Post had been under heavy enemy attack for the past twelve hours, and Captain Blien was informed that the position was still receiving fire and was advised not to risk landing in the area until aerial rocket support was available. Despite this warning, Captain Blien volunteered for the mission, proceeded to the area and landed the aircraft amidst heavy enemy sniper fire.  As a result of the hostile fire, the aircraft sustained three known hits and both Captain Blien and another officer were wounded.  After the Deputy Commander had exited the aircraft, Captain Blien, despite his wounds, remained on the ground until ordered to abort the medical evacuation.  After landing his aircraft in a safe area and surveying the damage, he unhesitatingly volunteered again to return to the battle area and extract the wounded men. He landed for the second time under intense small arms fire and successfully extracted the wounded, saving the seriously wounded soldier’s life with only minutes to spare.  Captain Blien’s personal bravery, sound judgement under enemy fire, and truly outstanding devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.