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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 Duane D. Hackney

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

Duane D. Hackney

Airman Second Class Duane D. Hackney distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Paramedic on an unarmed HH-3E Rescue Helicopter near Mu Gia Pass, North Vietnam, on 6 February 1967. On that date, Airman Hackney flew two sorties in a rescue effort of an American pilot downed in a heavily defended hostile area. On the first sortie, despite the presence of armed forces known to be hostile, entrenched in the vicinity, Airman Hackney volunteered to be lowered into the jungle to search for the survivor. He searched until the controlling Search and Rescue agency ordered an evacuation of the rescue forces. On the second sortie, Airman Hackney located the downed pilot, who was hoisted into the helicopter. As the rescue pilot departed the area, intense and accurate 37mm flak tore into the helicopter amidship, causing extensive damage and a raging fire aboard the craft. With complete disregard for his own safety, Airman Hackney fitted his parachute to the rescued man. In this moment of impending disaster, Airman Hackney chose to place his responsibility to the survivor above his own life. The courageous Paramedic located
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.
another parachute for himself and had just slipped his arms through the harness when a second 37mm struck the crippled aircraft, sending it out of control. The force of the explosion blew Airman Hackney through the open cargo door and, though stunned, he managed to deploy the unbuckled parachute and make a successful landing. He was later recovered by a companion helicopter. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Airman Hackney reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected 2005 by Maxwell-Gunter AFSNCOA Class 05-A.
 
Location. 32° 24.252′ N, 86° 14.966′ 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 William H. Pitsenbarger (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Arthur N. Black (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Russell M. Hunt
AF Cross exhibit located at nearby Enlisted Heritage Hall. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 29, 2016
3. AF Cross exhibit located at nearby Enlisted Heritage Hall.
(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 William A. Robinson (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay (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 Dennis M. Richardson (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 Duane D. Hackney. On Feb. 6, 1967, A2C Duane D. Hackney flew two sorties as a 37th ARRS pararescueman on an unarmed HH-3E Jolly Green helicopter to recover a downed pilot near Mu Gia Pass, North Vietnam. On the first flight, despite the presence of hostile ground forces, he conducted a ground search for the survivor until ordered to evacuate. On the second flight, Hackney located the pilot. As the rescue crew departed the area, their helicopter was hit repeatedly and caught fire. Hackney fitted his parachute on the rescued pilot and then located and donned a second chute,
Duane D. Hackney (Later on as a TSgt) image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain
4. Duane D. Hackney (Later on as a TSgt)
just as he was blown out of the helicopter by an explosion. Hackney managed to deploy his unbuckled parachute and was later rescued by another helicopter crew.

Airman Duane Hackney was the first living recipient of the Air Force Cross.

Duane D. Hackney died of a heart attack on September 3, 1993. He was only 46 years old.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Duane D. Hackney. (Submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Air Force Magazine A Habit of Heroism. (Submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceHeroesWar, Vietnam
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 30, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 158 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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