Joseph L. Driscoll, Jr.

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Joseph L. Driscoll, Jr. for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving 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. On 11 September 1970, First Lieutenant Driscoll launched as Copilot aboard the third aircraft in a flight of four AH-1G Cobra helicopters assigned the mission of supporting the insertion of a friendly force into a mountainous area deep in enemy-controlled territory in a sector which was heavily defended by numerous enemy antiaircraft weapon sites. Despite the difficultly of navigating his aircraft over the unfamiliar mountainous terrain under low ceiling, which exposed his flight to hostile automatic weapons fire en route, he arrived over the designated area and quickly located the landing zone. Undaunted by the intensity of the enemy fire directed at his gunship, several rounds of of which damaged his Cobra, First Lieutenant Driscoll boldly delivered such effective fire during repeated rocket and strafing runs that the hostile fire was suppressed sufficiently to enable the transport helicopters to insert the ground force and depart the from the hazardous area. Upon receipt of an emergency mission to support the medical evacuation of several wounded men from the heavily engaged friendly unit on 13 September, he again navigated his aircraft to the beleaguered force and provided such accurate and effective fire during repeated strafing runs that the casualties were safely extracted. After one of the transports was so seriously damaged by hostile fire as it lifted out of the landing zone that it was forced to land in a nearby open area, First Lieutenant Driscoll delivered such accurate fire that he silenced the hostile fire and enabled the downed crew to be extracted. The following day, he again provided such outstanding cover for the transport helicopters that the remainder of the friendly ground force was safely extracted. First Lieutenant Dirscoll’s courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger 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.