LTJG Harold McEarhern, USN

navy cross

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
Harold O. McEachern, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy
For service as set forth in the following

For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while participating in aerial flight against the enemy as a member of an Air-Sea Rescue Squadron in Korea. On 5 August 1952, Lieutenant (j.g.) McEachern, as Pilot of a Navy Helicopter in Helicopter Utility Squadron ONE (HU-1), participated in the daring rescue of the Commanding Officer of a Marine aircraft group whose aircraft had crashed deep in enemy territory. Resolutely maneuvering at tree top level in the face of intense hostile ground fire, Lieutenant (j.g.) McEachern promptly located the downed aviator and skillfully effected the pickup from a position in precipitous terrain that afforded the helicopter less than four feet of clearance. During the hazardous return over enemy infested territory, increasingly accurate barrages of defensive fire severely damaged the helicopter, but Lieutenant (j.g.) McEachern elected to continue directly on course because of the critical condition of the Marine aviator. Dangerously low on fuel, he maneuvered his battle-damaged helicopter through the hostile fire and conducted a successful night landing less than four hours after the rescued pilot had parachuted fifty miles behind enemy lines. Lieutenant (j.g.) McEachern’s heroic actions and exemplary initiative were responsible for saving the life of a Marine aviator. His courageous conduct, outstanding perseverance and steadfast devotion to duty throughout reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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