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Chief Warrant Officer W-3 Robert Allen Johnson

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Allen Johnson, US Army, retired, Fort Smith.  Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, the Meritorious Service Medal, twenty-four awards of the Air Medal, one with “V” device. Mister Johnson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1962 and served a combat tour in Vietnam.   Discharged six years later having attained the grade of Staff Sergeant, he entered the Army’s Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Flight Training.  Graduating from flight school in 1969, he requested assignment as a Medical Evacuation Pilot and was assigned to Vietnam flying the UH-1 Huey helicopter.  

The following is the narrative for award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Dates of action, 20-21 May 1970, Theater: Republic of Viet Nam. “For heroism, while participating in aerial flight, evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam: Warrant Officer W1 Johnson distinguished himself while commanding a helicopter ambulance during rescue operations in the Hiep Duc Valley. Responding to an urgent request to evacuate American soldiers wounded in combat with a large hostile force, Warrant Officer Johnson and his crew sped to the embattled area. Although, receiving intense enemy fire, Mister Johnson landed his helicopter in the pickup zone and evacuated the wounded personnel. Then, returning to the evacuation site, Warrant Officer Johnson descended his air ambulance amid the enemy fusillade and remained on station until all casualties were safely aboard. After refueling at Hawk Hill Aid Station, he again departed to the contact area and extracted six, injured ground troops while under constant enemy mortar barrages. The following morning Mister Johnson encountered a thick cloud layer which made the rescue attempt extremely hazardous due to the aircraft's vulnerability to enemy sniper fire when flying below the clouds. Undaunted, Warrant Officer Johnson skillfully flew his airship into the zone and successfully secured the remaining casualties. Warrant Officer W1 Johnson's outstanding flying ability and devotion to duty. were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Mr. Johnson and his crew successfully evacuated 17 American troops to an intermediate medical facility.”