Charles J. Sweeney Jr. Back

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of the second DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to Lieutenant Commander Charles John SWEENEY Jr. United States Navy for service as set forth in the following: CITATION ‘For heroism while participating in aerial flight as a pilot of jet aircraft attached to Attack Squadron TWO TWELVE embarked in USSHANCOCK(CVA-19). On 13 September 1972, Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY was assigned as leader of a division of aircraft, an element of a major air wing strike into Southeast Asia. The target consisted of a railroad yard and trans-shipment point heavily defended by two lethal surface-to air missile sites and numerous anti-aircraft artillery sites. Enroute to the target, Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY was forced to lead his division in violent maneuvers to escape several surface-to-air missiles which were tracking the flight. Finding his target partially under water, Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY quickly reassigned his division’s aim point and while dodging heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire commenced his roll-in. Smoothly tracking his target, he proceeded to place his ordnance into the area with such accuracy as to cause numerous explosions and sustained fires to be ignited. Pulling off target, the flight was met by still more anti-aircraft fire and several more surface-to-air missiles all of which were safely evaded. Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY’S aerial skill and courage in the face of the enemy reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of the third D1STINGUISHED FLYLING CROSS to Lieutenant Commander Charles John SWEENEY, Jr. United States Navy for service as set forth in the following. CITATION ‘For heroism while participating in aerial flight as a pilot of jet aircraft attached to Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE embarked in USS HANCOCK (CVA-19). On the afternoon of 6 September 1972, Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY was the leader of a division of armed reconnaissance aircraft on a mission into North Vietnam. One of his wingman s aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and immediately burst into flames, however he was not forced to eject until three miles out to sea. Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY immediately took charge of the situation, initiating the downed pilot’s rescue and calling in additional aircraft to suppress the now-intense anti-aircraft fire emanating from the numerous shore batteries and to lead the rescue helicopter in to the survivor. Despite the poor weather, gathering darkness and withering fire, the pilot was rescued safely. Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY’s bravery and calm decision-making while under fire reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of the fourth DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to Lieutenant Commander Charles John SWEENEY Jr. United States Navy for service as set forth in the following: CITATION “For heroism while participating in aerial flight as a pilot of jet aircraft attached to Attack Squadron Two HUNDRED TWELVE embarked in USS HANCOCK (CVA-19). On the morning of 12 September 1972 Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY planned and led a major air wing strike against a vital storage and repair facility near the North Vietnamese port of Hon Gai. Accurately navigating and acquiring the target area, Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY led the strike force to the target complex. Anti-aircraft radar indications and enemy aircraft vectored toward the strike caused him to commence evasive maneuvers. At the same time, he detached his divisions to strike their pre-assigned targets and positioned his own division for an extremely accurate dive bombing attack, placing all ordnance on his target. Lieutenant Commander SWEENEY’S courage and aggressive airborne leadership reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”