Michael J. Estocin

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain Michael J. Estocin for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 19 January 1967, while serving as a Pilot with Attack Squadron One Hundred Ninety-two, embarked in USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14), during aerial combat operations in Southeast Asia. As the leader of three Shrike-configured aircraft, Captain (then Lieutenant Commander) Estocin was responsible for providing warning, detection, and suppression of hostile surface-to-air missile activity directed at elements of the main strike group conducting a coordinated attack against the Dong Phong Thuong Railroad Bridge north of Thanh Hoa, North Vietnam. He lured the opposing missile sites to direct their fire toward his widely dispersed position by deploying the Shrike aircraft well ahead of the main strike group. During the course of the mission, Captain Estocin broadcast timely and accurate warning of enemy missile firings and personally took under fire two enemy missile site, destroying one and causing significant damage to the radar facilities of the other. He was subjected to heavy and accurate enemy anti-aircraft fire throughout the execution of these attacks. After exhausting his ordnance and at great personal peril, Captain Estocin remained on station to act as a lure in drawing any missile fire away from the remaining strike group. Only when assured that the main strike group was clear of the missile threat did Captain Estocin leave the hostile area. His skill, aggressiveness, and courage in the face of intense enemy opposition were instrumental in the successful completion of this strike against the enemy without aircraft loss or damage. Captain Estocin’s actions throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.