Walter G. Drago

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Walter G. Drago for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty. Chief Warrant Officer Drago distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while taking part in an infra-red surveillance mission. Chief Warrant Officer Drago was asked by Tuy Hoa Tower to look for a downed helicopter enroute to his mission area. Upon arriving at the suspected crash site, Chief Warrant Officer Drago encountered marginal weather with 600-foot cloud bases and moderate to severe turbulence in mountainous terrain. Chief Warrant Officer Drago aborted his mission, as he considered time of the essence in effecting a possible rescue due to deteriorating weather. After many abortive attempts in searching the mountain passes, often entering instrument flight conditions and maintaining flight below fifty feet above the terrain, Chief Warrant Officer Drago entered a pass obscured by clouds and proceeded up a valley where he discovered the downed aircraft. He plotted the crash site and directed rescue aircraft to the scene where the recovery of two crew men was effected. Chief Warrant Officer Drago’s unselfish heroism, quick thinking, and professional skill as a Pilot, were the instrumental factor in saving the lives of the downed crewmen. His courage, resolve and tenacity to the problem at hand, during conditions that taxed his skill to the utmost, did not preclude him from giving that extra measure, above and beyond the call of duty. His expert flying ability, extraordinary performance and heroism reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.