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

Award of Air Force Cross to Charles D. McGrath

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

Charles D. McGrath

Sergeant Charles D. McGrath distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pararescue Recovery Specialist on an HH-53C rescue helicopter in North Vietnam on 27 June 1972. On that date, while penetrating dense jungle to rescue a severely injured American airman, Sergeant McGrath exposed himself to intense ground fire in order to drag the incapacitated survivor to a suitable recovery area. Seeing his rescue aircraft crippled by the hostile fire, he directed air strikes against surrounding hostile ground forces until he was able to secure the survivor and himself to the penetrator of a backup helicopter. Rising through constant accurate ground fire, he shielded the survivor with his own body until they were successfully recovered into the aircraft where he immediately began providing the vital medical assistance required to save the lives of the survivor and an injured crewmember. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and
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
aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant McGrath reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected 2007 by Maxwell-Gunter AFSNCOA Class 07-B.
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: HeroesWar, Vietnam.
 
Location. 32° 24.262′ N, 86° 14.976′ 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 Leroy M. Wright (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 Timothy A. Wilkinson (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Jon D. Harston (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Theodore M. Hamlin (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to John A. Chapman (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Donald G. Smith (here, next to this marker);
Charles Damian McGrath image. Click for full size.
By USAF Photo
3. Charles Damian McGrath
Award of Air Force Cross to Jason D. Cunningham (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 Charles D. McGrath. Pararescueman Sgt. Charles D. McGrath with the 40th ARRS was lowered from HH-53 Super Jolly Green 73 on June 27, 1972, to rescue a badly wounded F-4 pilot downed in North Vietnam. He dragged the pilot through thick brush to the recovery site, but the helicopter was hit by hostile fire and lost its hoist, leaving the two men stranded. When another rescue chopper arrived, McGrath got the wounded pilot ready and rode up the hoist with him amid gunfire. Once safely inside, McGrath treated both the F-4 pilot and another PJ whose leg had been shattered by the gunfire.
 
Also see . . .  Veterans Tributes for Charles D. McGrath. (Submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Enlisted Air Force Cross Description image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
4. 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.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 320 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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