Gerit L. Fenenga

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Gerit L. Fenenga for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Commanding Officer of Marine Attack Squadron 211, Marine Aircraft Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 21 August 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Fenenga launched as Section Leader of a flight of two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to provide close air support for a Marine convoy ambushed and halted by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force on Route Nine between Dong Ha and Khe Sanh in Quang Tri Province. Arriving over the designated area, he was briefed on the friendly and enemy situation by the Tactical Air Controller (Airborne). Realizing the seriousness of the situation, he commenced his attack and immediately came under intense enemy anti-aircraft fire which damaged his aircraft. With complete disregard for his own safety, he fearlessly continued his bomb run and delivered his ordnance with devastating effectiveness, despite the hostile fire. Receiving a heavy volume of enemy fire on his second attack, his aircraft was again hit and damaged. Disregarding the damage to his aircraft, he repeatedly maneuvered over the target area, delivering his ordnance with precision and forcing the enemy to flee in panic and confusion. Lieutenant Colonel Fenenga’s courage, superb airmanship and inspiring devotion to duty at great personal risk contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.