CAPT Rupert E. Fairfield USMC
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
The NAVY CROSS to
Captain Rupert E. Fairfield, 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 Rupert E. Fairfield, Jr. (0-85242), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Copilot of a UH-1E Helicopter attached to Marine Observation Squadron SIX (VMO-6), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN (MAG-16), First Marine Aircraft Wing, near Quang Ngai, Republic of Vietnam on 19 August 1967. While conducting a regularly assigned mission, Captain Fairfield’s aircraft monitored a transmission giving the approximate location of four soldiers from a downed helicopter. The UH-1E diverted from its mission to this site and found the soldiers in the midst of an estimated thirty to forty Viet Cong, who were bayoneting and beating them with rifle butts. They began a series of low level attacks, and the Viet Cong scattered and withdrew to a tree line. Upon making a second low level pass, they observed one man raise his arm in a gesture for help. Immediately the helicopter landed on the beach between the men and the enemy, who were now firing furiously at the aircraft. Seeing that two men were unable to move a wounded man to the aircraft, Captain Fairfield exited the aircraft to go to their aid. As he stepped onto the ground, three Viet Cong appeared on top of a small sand dune, only ten feet from the aircraft. He quickly removed one of the machine guns from its mount and killed the enemy with a short burst of fire. Replacing the weapon, he drew his pistol and ran into the hail of fire to aid in carrying the wounded man to the aircraft. With all but one of the wounded men aboard, Captain Fairfield once again braved the enemy fire to race to the aid of the remaining soldier, only to find he had succumbed to his wounds. Returning to the aircraft, he leaped into the cockpit. The helicopter, being subjected to intense enemy fire and overloaded, was barely able to fly, as they made their way to a field hospital. By Captain Fairfield’s bold initiative, indomitable fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, he was instrumental in saving the men’s lives and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
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