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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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First Lieutenant Robert E. Hamilton Class of 2016

Distinguished Flying Cross


Distinguished Flying Cross

For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the evening of 28 March 1971, First Lieutenant Hamilton launched as Section Leader of a flight of two AH-1G Cobra helicopters assigned to support the emergency extraction of a Marine reconnaissance team which had sustained two casualties while heavily engaged in combat with a numerically superior hostile force in the northwestern sector of the Que Son Mountains in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated area, he was briefed by the section leader he was relieving and was informed that the beleaguered patrol was located on a small knoll dominated by high mountains and was under intense rocket-propelled grenade and automatic weapons fire from three sides. Undaunted by the heavy volume of enemy fire directed at his gunship and the difficulty of maneuvering his aircraft in the darkness over the rugged terrain below a five hundred foot ceiling. First Lieutenant Hamilton, after directing a flare ship to illuminate the area and leading a transport helicopter into the dangerous area, boldly maneuvered his Cobra on repeated firing runs and delivered his ordnance with such devastating effectiveness that fire from several enemy positions was silenced and the fire from the others suppressed sufficiently to enable the transport helicopter to land and safely extract the reconnaissance team. First Lieutenant Hamilton's courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in accomplishing the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.