navy cross

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
Captain John J. Barrett, United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John J. Barrett (0-85356), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (HMM-263), First Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. After aborting two re-supply missions to a Marine company on the night of 26 February 1969 due to mechanical difficulties and extremely adverse weather conditions, Captain Barrett launched at midnight as Section Leader in a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency re-supply of ammunition to the beleaguered unit heavily engaged with a large hostile force two miles northwest of An Hoa. Realizing the seriousness of the situation when informed that the Marines had expended nearly all their small-arms ammunition, he resolutely elected to attempt the mission despite only a slight improvement in the weather. Acquiring his external load at An Hoa, he extinguished his aircraft’s exterior lights and skillfully maneuvered his helicopter below the 800-foot ceiling in the designated area. Captain Barrett, guided only by a single strobe light and undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of hostile machine-gun fire directed against his CH-46, fearlessly maneuvered his aircraft in a tight spiral approach to a hover and boldly remained in his dangerously exposed position to stabilize his load before dropping the critically needed ammunition to the waiting Marines. Quickly lifting out of the fire-swept area, he maneuvered his helicopter up through the overcast and proceeded above the clouds to the Marble Mountain Air Facility. Captain Barrett’s courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


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