FOUR US RANGERS HAD TO HANG OUTSIDE THE TWO-SEATER HELICOPTER
US President Joe Biden has awarded the nation’s highest military medal to a Vietnam War helicopter pilot Army Captain Larry Taylor who disregarded a direct order and saved his comrades surrounded by unending waves of Vietnamese.
In 1968, retired Army Captain Larry Taylor, 81, flew his Cobra attack chopper into a firefight to rescue four US troops from near-certain death.
Army Captain Larry Taylor had been ordered to return to base, but when he learned a rescue helicopter wasn’t going to arrive to evacuate the surrounded troops, he fearlessly and defiantly rescued the men himself.
Running low on fuel and ammunition, he made low-level attack runs as the enemy returned intense ground fire for about half an hour. He was the only pilot multi-tasking in the Copter sending devastating impact to the enemy. Unfortunately, his ammo and fuel were getting low and the enemy waves were not subsiding.
Upon realizing that his ground team’s escape route was a death trap, he radioed with a new extraction point.
When the men arrived at the location, 1st Lt Taylor landed the helicopter “with complete disregard for his personal safety” to pick up the four troops, the White House said.
The men had to cling to the outside of the two-person aircraft as there wasn’t room inside.
President Biden said at Tuesday’s medal ceremony: “The rescue helicopter was not coming.
“Instead, Lieutenant Taylor received a direct order: Return to base. His response was just as direct: ‘I’m getting my men out. I’m getting my men out.’
The Tennessee native’s aircraft was hit multiple times amid the rescue mission.
“He refused to give up. He refused to leave a fellow American behind,” Mr Biden said. “When duty called, Larry did everything to answer. He rewrote the fate of four families for generations to come.”
Amry Capt Larry Taylor feted
Only 3,515 US military personnel have received the Medal of Honor, out of 40 million who have served since the Civil War. His actions had never before been attempted, the Army says. He received the Medal of Honor at the White House.