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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 Donald G. Smith

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

Donald G. Smith

Technical Sergeant Donald G. Smith distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Rescue Specialist of an HH-3E Rescue Helicopter in Southeast Asia on 24 October 1969. On that date, Sergeant Smith voluntarily descended to the surface on a forest penetrator to assist a downed pilot. As he and the pilot were being raised, hostile fire rendered the hoist inoperative and the cable was sheared, dropping them fifteen feet to the ground. Sergeant Smith's position was surrounded by hostile forces and his helicopter was downed by hostile fire. Remaining exceptionally calm, his resolute and decisive presence encouraged the other survivors, while his resourcefulness in controlling and directing the aircraft providing suppressive fire, resulted in the safe recovery of all downed personnel. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected 2006 by Maxwell-Gunter GNCOA Class 06-06.
 
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.
32° 24.26′ N, 86° 14.974′ 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. Touch for map. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy 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 Charles D. King (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 Theodore M. Hamlin (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Michael E. Fish (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 Joel E. Talley (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Victor R. Adams (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
 
Regarding Award of Air Force Cross to Donald G. Smith. On Oct. 24, 1969, the crew of the 37th ARRS HH-3 Jolly Green 28, including pararescueman TSgt. Donald G. Smith, set out to retrieve two F-100 crewmen. When they located the fighter crew
Donald G. Smith image. Click for full size.
By USAF Photo
3. Donald G. Smith
in the jungle, Smith was lowered to the ground, where he attached himself and the pilot, who had a broken leg, to the hoist. As they were being lifted, hostile fire damaged the external hoist mount, forcing the flight engineer to sever the cable, sending Smith and the pilot hurtling to the ground. Jolly 28 was forced to make an emergency landing about 1.5 miles away in a marshy area. The chopper’s remaining crew members were immediately picked up by a companion HH-3. Despite injury, Smith cared for the fighter crew, directed air assaults against the enemy, and repelled enemy probes for several hours, until another rescue chopper successfully extracted him and the pilot.
 
Categories. HeroesWar, Vietnam
 
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 June 29, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 140 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 28, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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