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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Warrant Officer Robert L. Baird Class of 2012

Distinguished Flying Cross

United States Army

Distinguished Flying Cross

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 Baird distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 30 January 1968 as aircraft commander of an ambulance helicopter on a rescue mission in Kontum City. A military compound in the city was surrounded and heavily attacked by enemy forces during the Tet offensive, and extraction of soldiers wounded in the fighting was requested. Despite savage fire raking all avenues of approach to the site, Mister Baird volunteered to participate in the rescue operation. Helicopter gunships were unable to dislodge the insurgents or destroy their weapons positions because of the danger of hitting civilians in the area. Braving murderous fire, Mister Baird flew into the compound and landed. Bullets struck all around his ship, and the intensity of the fire increased. Ignoring his welfare, he remained on the ground until his ship was loaded to capacity. Then, skillfully operating the controls, he took off amid a furious enemy barrage and flew the patients to safety. Twice more during the day, he returned through the insurgent's fusillade to evacuate casualties and fly them to the hospital. Warrant Officer Baird'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.


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