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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Specialist Fourth Class John S. Koonse Class of 2015

Air Medal with

United States Army

Air Medal with "V" Device

For heroism while engaged in aerial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force: These men distinguished themselves on 31 January 1967, while serving on a troop lift helicopter participating as an eagle flight that was escorting an armed convoy of the 101st Airborne Division. The convoy was traveling along highway 1, 30 miles south of Phan Rang, when it came under an intense mortar attack. They immediately identified the puffs of smoke coming from the Viet Cong mortar positions, and armed with their door mounted M-60 machineguns, they vectored their pilot on pass after pass at the enemy positions until they had expended all ammunition. They then grabbed their M-16 automatic rifles and again placed deadly fire on the enemy. When the convoy was ambushed a second time, they repeated this heroic deed and allowed the convoy to depart with a minimum number of casualties. Their actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves, their units and the United States Army.


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