most decorated US helicopter medevac crew in the Vietnam War?
June 1, 2011 10:14 PM   Subscribe

How would I go about finding the most decorated US helicopter medevac crew in the Vietnam War?
posted by El Curioso to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would try emailing the American Helicopter Society (also try their dedicated history page, though not updated since 2007). A big part of their mission is promoting rotorcraft history. They're a relatively small but dedicated industry group and they might be willing to look this up for you or have someone who knows offhand.
posted by mnemonic at 10:28 PM on June 1, 2011

Off the top of my head, Michael J. Novosel received the Medal of Honor. I'm guessing this list would be a good place to start.
posted by vorfeed at 10:33 PM on June 1, 2011

I'd recommend you have a look through the rolls of the 20th ("Pony Express" to '68 then "Green Hornets" to current) and 21st ("Knife") Special Operation Squadrons who flew infiltration/extraction for MACV-SOG in Laos and Cambodia. They also did their own C/SAR for any aircrew who were shot down.

The majority of the awards should have been declassified by now but it's worth keeping in mind that some actions may still be classified or at least not public. It was only in the last decade that some SOG vets received decorations for their actions some 40 years ago (see Richard Etchberger for an example of this - another MoH winner).

The list of Vietnam Era MoH winners vorfeed gives above can be searched for Air Force servicemen and is probably your best bet.
posted by longbaugh at 4:01 AM on June 2, 2011

Bruce Crandall is going to be up there: He won the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross four times, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the and 23 Air Medals, among other awards.
posted by Jahaza at 8:56 AM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Note that many of the more decorated pilots were flying support or combat missions when they volunteered to go on a rescue, as opposed to being dedicated medevac crew. If you're looking specifically for air ambulance (aka dustoff) crews, you may need to narrow your search.
posted by vorfeed at 12:00 PM on June 2, 2011

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