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Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay

 
 
Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
1. Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay Marker
Inscription.
Citation to Accompany the Award of
The Air Force Cross
to

Eugene L. Clay

Staff Sergeant Eugene L. Clay distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-3E Flight Engineer in Southeast Asia on 9 November 1967. On that date, Sergeant Clay attempted the night extraction of a ground reconnaissance team after his helicopter had been severely damaged. Two other helicopters had been shot down and a third extensively damaged in previous attempts. During the rescue attempt, Sergeant Clay unhesitatingly exposed himself to hostile fire to assist the survivors to the aircraft. The hostile forces closed in quickly, and as the damaged helicopter departed, it was shot down. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Sergeant Clay reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected 2005 by Maxwell-Gunter AFSNCOA Class 05-B.
 
Location. 32° 24.255′ N, 86° 14.967′ W. Marker is in Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of McDonald Street and Avenue D
Wide view of AF Cross memorial plaques. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
2. Wide view of AF Cross memorial plaques.
. Click for map. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy & Enlisted Heritage Hall on Gunter AFB and requires base access. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 McDonald Street, Montgomery AL 36114, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Award of Air Force Cross to Dennis M. Richardson (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Russell M. Hunt (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Larry W. Maysey (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Richard L. Etchberger (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Duane D. Hackney (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to William H. Pitsenbarger (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Thomas A. Newman (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Nacey Kent Jr (here, next to this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
 
Regarding Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay. On Nov. 9, 1967, SSgt. Eugene L. Clay, a flight engineer with the 37th ARRS, and the crew of HH-3 Jolly Green 26 attempted to extract a ground reconnaissance team at night during heavy enemy fire. Another Jolly Green picked up three recon members before it was driven off by hostile fire.
Eugene Lunsford Clay image. Click for full size.
By USAF Photo
3. Eugene Lunsford Clay
As Jolly Green 26 attempted to pick up the remaining two recon troops, hostile fire continued. Clay assisted in getting the recon members on board, but the rescue chopper was hit by automatic weapons fire and burst into flames. The conflagration killed Clay, two other crew members (including the other enlisted Air Force Cross recipient on the mission, Sgt. Larry W. Maysey), and the two recon team members.

Sergeant Clay was awarded the Air Force Cross posthumously, and his remains were never recovered.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Also killed, and a recipient of the AF Cross, was the pararescueman on board, Larry Maysey.
 
Also see . . .  Task Force Omega article on Eugene L. Clay. Task Force Omega is a non-profit, tax-exempt POW / MIA organization dedicated to the full accounting and return of all prisoners of war and those missing in action during the defense of our country. (Submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 
 
Categories. Air & SpaceHeroesWar, Vietnam
 
AF Cross exhibit located at nearby Enlisted Heritage Hall. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
4. AF Cross exhibit located at nearby Enlisted Heritage Hall.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 123 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 30, 2016.
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