LTJG Alan James Billings, USNR



The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Alan James BILLINGS, United States Naval Reserve
For service as set forth in the following

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while engaged in aerial flight while attached to Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron THREE on 8 November 1968.  As co-pilot of a helicopter gunship, Lieutenant (junior grade) BILLINGS piloted the aircraft in an unprecedented medical evacuation of two seriously wounded men from a PBR in a hostile fire area.  The helicopter fire team was scrambled from Nha Be to assist two PBR’s that had come under heavy enemy rocket and automatic weapons fire from both banks of a small stream.  The patrol officer had been killed and four crewmen were wounded, two seriously and in need of immediate medical attention.  Since a MEDEVAC helicopter was still 20 minutes out and there was no helicopter landing site accessible to the PBR’s, Lieutenant (junior grade) BILLINGS received permission from the fire team leader to attempt an underway pickup.  The PBR’s were still quite near the area they were when first hit.  Lieutenant (junior grade) BILLINGS had the pilot put an attack into the enemy positions in order to discourage fire on his aircraft and also to jettison the bulk of his ammunition . To further lighten the aircraft he had the gunners jettison most of their ammunition. He then made his approach to the boat with only his gunners to protect his precarious position.  He placed one skid on the boat’s bow while the left door gunner pulled the two seriously wounded men to safety. He then flew directly to the hospital in Saigon.  Lieutenant (junior grade) BILLINGS’ courageous actions, sense of responsibility and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

                 For the President

                  John J. Hyland

                 Admiral, U. S. Navy

                        Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Rescue off a PBR

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