Patrick D. C. Dumas III

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Patrick D. C. Dumas for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as Pilot with Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. From 28 January to 23 March 1971, First Lieutenant Dumas participated in Operation Lam Son 719 as Aircraft Commander of an AH-1G Cobra helicopter and launched on forty-five combat missions involving seventeen point eight flight hours to provide armed gunship support for CH-53 transport helicopters resupplying Army of the Republic of Vietnam fire support bases, which were under heavy attack from North Vietnamese Army forces deep in enemy-controlled territory. Undaunted by constant exposure to intense hostile anti-aircraft fire, as he approached each of the beleaguered positions, he ably established and maintained communications with the supported units, passed on significant information to the transport pilots, alertly located sources of enemy fire, skillfully maneuvered his gunship on repeated rocket and strafing runs and delivered his ordnance with such devastating effectiveness that the North Vietnamese fire was suppressed sufficiently to enable the transports to enter the hazardous areas and safely release their cargo in the drop zones. While supporting the emergency resupply of Fire Support Base Lola on 7 March, when the base was in danger of being overrun, First Lieutenant Dumas completely disregarded his own safety as he resolutely ignored the extremely heavy volume of large caliber anti-aircraft fire directed at his gunship and fearlessly attacked the enemy positions. When a malfunction rendered his 20mm turret weapon useless during the heaviest portion of the fire, he boldly continued his attacks using rocket fire and succeeded in destroying numerous newly constructed, well-camouflaged enemy positions and causing large secondary explosions. First Lieutenant Dumas’ courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in accomplishing the hazardous missions and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.