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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Private First Class Robert A. Holzbacher Class of 2006

					Distinguished Flying Cross

United States Army

Air Medal with "V" Device

For heroism while engaged in aerial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Private First Class Robert A Holzbacher, 71st Aviation Company distinguished himself by heroic actions on 14 October 1966, in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving as a crew member on an aircraft that was participating in a hazardous combat assault in support of the 30th ARVN Ranger Battalion. Five minutes prior to the arrival of the lift helicopters, a team of armed helicopters performed a reconnaissance of the proposed landing site and discovered that the tree lines adjacent to the landing zone were heavily infested with antiaircraft automatic weapons positions. The armed aircraft received an intense volume of hostile fire on their initial pass. Determined to accomplish the mission and to overpower the Viet Cong in that area, the lift helicopters continued their approach and landed the rangers one hundred and fifty meters from the enemy stronghold. The company was the target of an intense volume of enemy fire on the first wave of the assault. Ten helicopters were struck by enemy fire. Because the rangers were helplessly pinned down in the landing zone, the 71st voluntarily undertook the mission of returning to the same landing site with a supporting element of Rangers. During the second wave of the assault, the enemy fire became even more intense than before. The armed escort continually placed devastating defensive fire on the enemy positions. Through the combined efforts of the armed helicopters and the door gunners of the lift helicopters, effective fire was placed into the enemy positions and caused many Viet Cong casualties and prevented the enemy from using all of his available firepower. Even though the aircraft were subjected to continuous small arms and automatic weapons fire, the flights into and out of the area were successfully completed and only light casualties were sustained. Private First Class Holzbacher’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

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