Tag Archives: Air Force Cross

9 November 1967: Air Force Cross, Sergeant Larry Wayne Maysey, United States Air Force

"That Others May Live." Bronze sculpture of Sergeant Larry Wayne Maysey, United States Air Force, by Wayne Hyde. The memorial is located on Main Street, Borough of Chester, New Jersey. (© Sheena Chi)
“That Others May Live.” Bronze statue of Sergeant Larry Wayne Maysey, United States Air Force, by Wayne Hyde. The memorial is located on Main Street, Borough of Chester, New Jersey. (© Sheena Chi)

 AIR FORCE CROSS

Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War

Sgt. Larry W. Masey
Sergeant Larry W. Maysey, Rescue Specialist, United States Air Force

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Larry Wayne Maysey (AFSN: 12751422), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-3E Rescue Specialist (Pararescueman) of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, in Southeast Asia on 9 November 1967. On that date, Sergeant Maysey attempted the night extraction of a ground reconnaissance team after his helicopter had been severely damaged. Two other helicopters had been shot down and a third extensively damaged in previous attempts. During the rescue attempt, Sergeant Maysey unhesitatingly exposed himself to the hail of hostile fire to assist wounded survivors into the helicopter. The hostile forces closed in quickly, and as the damaged helicopter departed, it was shot down. Though his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Maysey reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 9-Nov-67

Service: Air Force

Rank: Sergeant

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Air Force Cross
Air Force Cross

Larry Wayne Maysey was born 18 November 1946 in the Borough of Chester, new jersey. he was the son of Charles and Charlotte Maysey. He attended West Morris High School, graduating in 1965.

After graduating from high school, Larry Maysey enlisted in the United States Air Force, and was selected for training as a Pararescue Jumper at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The “PJs” of the U.S. Air Force are graduates of an two-year training course, known as “the Pipeline,” which is one of the most intense training programs of any military service. The failure rate is about 80%.

Sergeant Maysey arrived in Vietnam in mid-October 1967, assigned to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron. On 9 November 1967, he was one of the crew of “Jolly Green 26,” A Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) helicopter.

Sergeant Maysey’s remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing, at the Honolulu Memorial, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

© 2017, Bryan R. Swopes

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9 November 1967: Air Force Cross, Staff Sergeant Eugene Lunsford Clay, United States Air Force

Air Force Cross
Eugene Lunsford Clay

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Eugene Lunsford Clay (AFSN: 18497841), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-3E Flight Engineer of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, in action in Southeast Asia on 9 November 1967. On that date, Sergeant Clay attempted the night extraction of a ground reconnaissance team after his helicopter had been severely damaged. Two other helicopters had been shot down and a third extensively damaged in previous attempts. During the rescue attempt, Sergeant Clay unhesitatingly exposed himself to hostile fire to assist the survivors to the aircraft. The hostile forces closed in quickly, and as the damaged helicopter departed, it was shot down. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Staff Sergeant Clay reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: November 9, 1967

Service: Air Force

Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

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9 November 1967: Air Force Cross, Captain Ralph Wayne Brower, United States Air Force Reserve

Air Force Cross
Ralph Wayne Brower

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Captain Ralph Wayne Brower (AFSN: 0-3109303), United States Air Force (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-3E pilot of the 37th Aero Space Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, in action in Southeast Asia on 9 November 1967. On that date, captain Brower attempted the night extraction of a ground reconnaissance team. Despite full knowledge that two helicopters had been shot down and a third severely damaged by intense, accurately directed hostile fire, Captain Brower, with determination, indomitable courage, and profession skill, established a hover on a steep slope within one hundred yards of hostile weapons positions and brought the wounded survivors aboard. The hostile forces closed in quickly, and as the helicopter departed, it was shot down. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Brower reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: November 9, 1967

Service: Air Force

Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

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14 October 1969

Master Sergeant Donald G. Smith, United States Air Force.
Master Sergeant Donald G. Smith, United States Air Force.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Section 8742, Title 10, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Technical Sergeant Donald G. Smith for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pararescueman on a HH-3E Rescue Helicopter in Southeast Asia on 24 October 1969. On that date, Sergeant Smith voluntarily descended to the surface on a forest penetrator to assist a downed pilot. As he and the pilot were being raised, hostile fire rendered the hoist inoperative and the cable was sheared, dropping them fifteen feet to the ground. Sergeant Smith’s position was surrounded by hostile forces, and his helicopter was downed by hostile fire. Remaining exceptionally calm, his resolute and decisive presence encouraged other survivors, while his resourcefulness in controlling and directing the aircraft providing suppressive fire, resulted in the safe recovery of all downed personnel. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Smith reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Air Force Cross
Air Force Cross

Master Sergeant Smith’s official Air Force biography reads:

Donald Smith was born on June 7, 1935, in Prairie City, Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on April 10, 1954, and after completing basic training, he was trained as a Survival Training and Personnel Equipment Specialist at Chanute AFB, Illinois. His first assignment was as a survival training & personnel equipment specialist with the 3635th and 3636th Combat Crew Training Squadrons at Stead AFB, Nevada, from December 1954 to February 1958, followed by Fuel Supply Specialist training at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, from February to May 1958. Sgt Smith served as a fuel supply specialist with the 3242nd Maintenance Squadron and the 4135th Strategic Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, from May 1958 to February 1959, and then with the 389th Support Squadron and the 389th Strategic Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, from March 1959 to April 1963. He then attended Rescue & Survival Technician training before serving as a Pararescueman with the 54th Air Rescue Squadron (later redesignated the 31st Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron) at Goose AB, Labrador, from November 1963 to March 1965, and then deployed to Clark AB in the Philippines from March 1965 to April 1968. During this time, Sgt Smith deployed to Vietnam from April 1965 to August 1966. His next assignment was as a Pararescueman with the 305th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron (ARRS) from September 1968 to July 1969, followed by service with the 37th ARRS at DaNang AB, South Vietnam, from July 1969 to June 1970. Sgt Smith served as NCOIC of Pararescue Standardization with Headquarters Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service at Scott AFB, Illinois, from June 1970 to May 1971, and then served as a Pararescueman with the 48th ARRS at Fairchild AFB, Washington, from June 1971 to February 1975. His final assignment was with the 3636th Combat Crew Training Wing at Fairchild AFB from February 1975 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 1, 1976.

A Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant (66-13290) ot the 37th ARRS, hovering in ground effect at Da Nang, 1968. (U.S. Air Force)
A Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant (66-13290) of the 37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, hovering in ground effect at Da Nang, Republic of South Vietnam, 1968. (U.S. Air Force)

 

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11 October 1956, 05:57 GMT

The Blue Danube Mar 1 bomb drops away from Vickers Valiant B.1 WZ366 over the Kite test site, Maralinga, South Australia. (Crown Copyright)
A Blue Danube Mark 1 bomb drops away from a Vickers Valiant B.1 bomber. (Ministry of Defense)

11 October 1956: At 3:27 p.m., local time, (05:57 GMT) a Mk.1 Atom Bomb, code-named Blue Danube, detonated at approximately 490 feet (150 meters) over the Kite Site on the Maralinga Test Range, South Australia. The bomb had been dropped from a Royal Air Force Vickers Valiant B.1 bomber, WZ366, flying at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters). The aircraft commander was Squadron Leader E.J.G. (“Ted”) Flavell, RAF.

The Kite air burst was the third detonation of Operation Buffalo, but this was the first British atomic bomb which had been dropped from an airplane.

For their performance during this test, Squadron Leader Ted Flavell and bomb aimer Flight Lieutenant Eric Stacey were awarded the Air Force Cross.

Operation Buffalo, Test Kite detonation, Maralinga Test Range, South Australia, 0557 GMT, 11 October 1956. Explosive yield was 3 kilotons. (Nuclear Weapons Archive)
Operation Buffalo, Round 3 detonation, Kite, Site, Maralinga Test Range, South Australia, 0557 GMT, 11 October 1956. Explosive yield was 3 kilotons. (Nuclear Weapons Archive)

Blue Danube was an implosion-type fission bomb using plutonium and uranium as fuel. Designed as a 40-kiloton weapon, for this test, the yield was reduced to 3 kilotons. The bomb was 24 feet, 2 inches (7.366 meters) long and had a diameter of 5 feet, 2 inches (1.575 meters). The spherical 32-lens plutonium/uranium implosion system was 5 feet (1.524 meters) in diameter. The bomb weighed 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms). Four retractable guide fins would extend to span 9 feet, 0.8 inches (2.764 meters) after leaving the aircraft’s bomb bay.

The length of the bomb casing (more than twice that of a similar type U.S. weapon) and the large guide fins made the Blue Danube very aerodynamically stable.

Twenty Blue Danube Mark 1 bombs were produced and were in service until 1962.

[Thanks to Brian Burnell at Nuclear Weapons: A Guide to British Nuclear Weapon Projects  www.nuclear-weapons.info  for the information.]

A technician gives a size reference to a Blue Danube bomb case. The same casing was used for the much more powerful Violet Club. (imgkid.com)
A technician gives a size reference to a Blue Danube bomb case. The same casing was used for the much more powerful Violet Club. (imgkid.com)

The Vickers-Armstrong Valiant B.1 was designed and built under the direction of Vickers’ chief designer, George R. Edwards. It was a high-wing, four-engine turbojet-powered strategic bomber, operated by a flight crew of five. The leading edges of the wings featured a compound sweep with the inner one-third swept to 37° and the outer two-thirds swept to 21°. It was 108 feet, 3 inches (32.995 meters) long with a wingspan of 114 feet, 4 inches (34.849 meters) and overall height of 32 feet, 2 inches (9.804 meters). Its empty weight was 75,581 pounds (34,283 kilograms) and Maximum Takeoff weight was 140,000 pounds (63,503 kilograms).

The bomber was powered by four Rolls-Royce Avon RA.28 Mk.204 or Mk.205 turbojet engines placed inside the wings adjacent to the fuselage.  The RA.28 was a single-shaft axial-flow engine with a 15-stage compressor and 2 stage turbine. They produced 10,050 pounds of thrust (44.705 kilonewtons). The RA.28 Mk.204 was 10 feet, 3.0 inches (3.124 meters) long and 3 feet, 11.5 inches (1.054 meters) in diameter.

The Valiant B.1 had a maximum speed of 567 miles per hour (912.5 kilometers per hour) at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters). Its service ceiling was 54,000 feet (16,459 meters) and range with external fuel tanks was 4,500 miles (7,242 kilometers).

After 1962 the Valiant B.1 was used as a low-level tactical bomber. This resulted in the wing spar suffering from stress-induced fatigue cracks. A replacement spar was developed but due to the cost, the Valiant bomber fleet was quickly retired.

Vickers-Armstrong Type 706 Valiant B.1 WZ.366.
Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd. Type 706 Valiant B.1 WZ.366. (Unattributed)

WZ366 was one of the first thirty-four Type 706 full-production Valiant B.1 bombers. It made its first flight 18 August 1955 and was delivered to the RAF on 7 October 1955, assigned to No. 49 Squadron. It was one of three Valiant B.1s of No. 1321 Flight, RAF Wittering, selected for use in the Operation Buffalo nuclear weapons tests. Later it served with No. 7 and No. 49 Squadrons, but was withdrawn from service 6 March 1964. WZ366 was sold for scrap 16 June 1965.

Sqn. Ldr. E.J.G. Flavell, RAF. (The Telegraph)
Squadron Leader Edwin J.G. Flavell, RAF. (The Telegraph)

Squadron Leader Edwin James George (“Ted”) Flavell, A.F.C., Royal Air Force, was born at Battersea, England, 25 April 1922. He entered the Royal Air Force as an aircraft mechanic in 1938, then underwent pilot training in Canada. During World War II, he flew many secret missions over Europe and Scandinavia, inserting agents and dropping supplies in occupied territories.

Ted Flavell also flew airplanes which were towing glider transports for the D-Day invasion and Operation Market Garden.

After the war, he flew English Electric Canberra bombers and was in the first group of pilots trained for the Vickers Valiant.

Squadron Leader Flavell served in the Royal Air Force for thirty years, retiring in 1968. He died 24 February 2014 at the age of 91 years.

The flight crew of Valiant B.1 WZ366. Sqn. Ldr. E.J.G. Flavell is at the far left. (The Telegraph)
The flight crew of Valiant B.1 WZ366. Squadron Leader E.J.G. Flavell is at the far left. (The Telegraph)

© 2017, Bryan R. Swopes

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