Albert L. Apel

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Albert L. Apel, First Lieutenant, United States Army, 334th Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter), Republic of Vietnam, for action dated 13 October 1969 for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty: First Lieutenant Apel distinguished himself by exceptional valorous actions while flying as aircraft commander of a UH-1H effecting the recovery of a downed AG-1G Cobra. When he received word that one ship had been shot down northeast of Chu Chi, he proceeded to the area of the downed ship. Over the area he began to receive enemy ground fire, but by executing a high overhead approach, he managed to put his UH-1H on the ground without receiving a hit. When the rigging was complete, he took off in a hail of enemy fire to await the Chinook’s arrival. When the Chinook arrived, he preceded it into the landing zone, once again braving enemy fire. As the recovery helicopter hovered over the Cobra, one of his rigging crew climbed up to the Cobra’s rotor head and prepared to attach the sling, but increased enemy fire forced the Chinook to depart and the rigger was shot in the chest. The rest of the crew quickly put him aboard the UH-1H and First Lieutenant Apel then did a maximum performance take-off through the enemy fire and rushed the wounded man to the hospital. First Lieutenant Apel’s courage in consistently braving enemy fire and superior flying skill were exemplary. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.