Charles D. McGrath | Air Force Cross
Citation to accompany the award of the Air Force Cross to Sergeant Charles D. McGrath.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Section 8742, Title 10, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Sergeant Charles D. McGrath for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pararescueman on a HH-53C Rescue Helicopter in North Vietnam on 27 June 1972. On that date, while penetrating dense jungle to rescue a severely injured American airman, Sergeant McGrath exposed himself to intense ground fire in order to drag the incapacitated survivor to a suitable recovery area. Seeing his rescue aircraft crippled by the hostile fire, he directed air strikes against surrounding hostile ground forces until he was able to secure the survivor and himself to the penetrator of a backup helicopter. Rising through constant accurate ground fire, he shielded the survivor with his own body until they were successfully recovered into the aircraft where he immediately began providing the vital medical assistance required to save the lives of the survivor and an injured crew member. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant McGrath reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.