Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Louis Mills, Jr. of Monticello earned 4 awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 awards of the Silver Star medal for heroism, a Bronze Star medal for valor, 3 Purple Hearts and over 70 awards of the Air Medal during multiple tours in Vietnam as a combat army aviator.
The narrative for Mills’ first Silver Star reads: Dated 28 July 1969 “For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: On this date, Lieutenant Mills was serving as a pilot of a light observation helicopter on a hunter killer mission observation helicopter on a hunter killer mission providing aerial fire support of a friendly platoon heavily engaged with an undetermined size insurgent unit. Realizing the perilous situation of the beleaguered force, Lieutenant Mills hovered his aircraft directly above the enemy positions and placed devastating barrages of suppressive machine gun fire on the aggressor emplacements. When the friendly troops withdrew, Lieutenant Mills was informed that four soldiers were missing and immediately made several treacherously low level reconnaissance passes until he located the separated men. Informing the battalion commander that one of the men was seriously wounded and in urgent need of blood, Lieutenant Mills unhesitatingly obtained the blood from a nearby medical aid station and delivered the vital supply to the entrapped men. Although the terrain prevented the extraction of the four friendly soldiers, Lieutenant Mills ignored the hostile fusillade directed at his ship and continuously dropped ammunition and resupplies. His courageous initiative and selfless significantly contributed to saving several friendly lives. First Lieutenant Mills’ unquestionable valor in close combat against numerically superior hostile forces is keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.”