Captain Tollie Adkins, Jr., was born in Bruno Arkansas and is currently living in Fort Smith. He served with the U.S. Army in Viet Nam. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat, and the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters. During Captain Adkins assignment with the 118th Assault Helicopter Company as an Aircraft Commander, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The General Orders read: “For heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty Captain Adkins distinguished himself on 12 September 1966, while piloting a UH-1D helicopter evacuating casualties and delivering supplies to elements of the 25th infantry Divisions near Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. With two loads remaining a supporting artillery barrage was initiated which precluded climbing to altitude and making the usual tactical approach. He was forced to fly beneath the artillery fire to the infantrymen. As he departed after delivering the final load, bullets ripped through the cockpit, fuselage, and main rotor blades of the aircraft. Feeling a sharp pain in his leg, he knew that he had been wounded. Glancing across the cockpit as he fought to regain control of the ship, he saw that his co-pilot was in convulsions from mortal wounds in his neck and head. Struggling to counteract the pressures being exerted on the controls by his dying co-pilot, and with the radios and intercom rendered useless by the enemy fire, he yelled instructions to his crew as they held the co-pilot off the controls and applied pressure to slow the flow of blood. With vibrations and feedback in the controls of the crippled ship growing more severe and a painful bullet wound in his leg, he expertly executed a running landing on the Cu Chi airstrip. His courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”