Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Award of Air Force Cross to Charles D. McGrath
The Air Force Cross
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,
Erected 2007 by Maxwell-Gunter AFSNCOA Class 07-B.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, Vietnam. In addition, it is included in the Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross/Air Force Cross Recipients series list.
Location. 32° 24.262′ N, 86° 14.976′ W. Marker is in Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of McDonald Street and Avenue D. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy at the Gunter Annex and requires base access. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 McDonald St, 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. ChapmanAward of Air Force Cross to Donald G. Smith (here, next to this marker); 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 Gunter Annex.
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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 524 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.