Staff Sergeant James E. Bolen. For heroism while
participating in aerial flight in the Republic of Vietnam.
Sergeant Bolen distinguished himself by valorous actions
on the night of 12 November 1968 while serving as a member
of a reconnaissance team on a classified mission. Sergeant
Bolen volunteered to rappel from a helicopter into enemy
held territory with a special piece of equipment. Due to
the darkness of the night the pilot had difficulty holding
the aircraft in a stable position. When Sergeant Bolen reached
the end of his rappel rope the aircraft suddenly lost altitude
and he was severely bounced and dragged along the ground.
Before he could unhook himself from the rope he received
enemy automatic weapons fire from all directions. Ground
fire necessitated that the helicopter quickly gain altitude
jerking Sergeant Bolen off his feet and dragging him through
the trees until sufficient altitude could be reached to
clear the trees and get out of range of the ground fire.
Sergeant Bolen was then flown a distance of 40 kilometers
dangling at the end of a 250 foot rope and dropped into
the middle of a friendly armored unit. Sergeant Bolen's
heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions
of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself,
the Special Forces and the United States Army.