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

Award of Air Force Cross to Jon D. Harston

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

Jon D. Harston

Staff Sergeant Jon D. Harston distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a flight mechanic of a CH-53 helicopter on 15 May 1975. On that date, while engaged in the rescue of the crew and recovery of the SS MAYAGUEZ, the helicopter encountered extremely heavy hostile fire and crashed at the shoreline of Koh Tang Island. Sergeant Harston, although wounded, braved hostile fire to insure fellow crewmembers and the United States Marine landing force passengers were removed to safety. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of an opposing armed force, Sergeant Harston reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected 2007 by Maxwell-Gunter AFSNCOA Class 07-C.
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: HeroesWar, ColdWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location.
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 or scan to see
this page online
32° 24.264′ N, 86° 14.975′ W. Marker is in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of McDonald Street and Avenue D. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy on Gunter AFB and requires base access. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 McDonald Street, Montgomery AL 36114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Award of Air Force Cross to John A. Chapman (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Timothy A. Wilkinson (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Charles L. Schaub (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Charles D. McGrath (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Leroy M. Wright (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Zachary J. Rhyner (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Jason D. Cunningham (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Theodore M. Hamlin (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maxwell Air Force Base.
 
Regarding Award of Air Force Cross to Jon D. Harston. On May 15, 1975, SSgt. John D. Harston, a helicopter flight mechanic, was on a CH-53 Super Jolly Green helicopter sent to rescue crew members of SS Mayaguez, which had been seized by Communist Khmer Rouge forces. The helicopter was hit by enemy fire and crash-landed
Enlisted Air Force Cross Description image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
3. Enlisted Air Force Cross Description

The AF Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy, to any person while serving with the U.S. Air Force, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing enemy force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces, engaged in conflict against an opposing force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. It is awarded for heroic actions second in precedence only to the Medal of Honor and is presented in the name of the President. It was established by Congress by Public Law 88-593 on 6 July 1960.
on Koh Tang, just off the shore of Cambodia. Although Harston was wounded, he helped survivors exit the burning helicopter. He fired his rifle until it jammed and emptied a revolver before inflating his life preserver. He then picked up two injured Marines before paddling to deeper water, where they waited three hours before they were rescued.
 
Also see . . .  Veteran Tribute: Jon D. Harston. (Submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 355 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jun. 16, 2021