Phillip W. Holdaway Back

Specialist Four Phillip W. Holdaway is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight, evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam, Specialist Four Holdaway distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 26 September 1968 as crew chief of an ambulance helicopter near Tam Ky. An American platoon had become trapped in the corner of a rice paddy by a battalion of North Vietnamese Army regulars. Although intense enemy fire downed a light observation plane, re-supply ship, gun ship and fighter jet over the battle site, Specialist Holdaway and his comrades courageously attempted to extract the ground unit’s casualties. Leaning out of the aircraft, he expertly guided the pilot through the trees and away from the heaviest concentrations of hostile fire. In the pickup zone, Specialist Holdaway exposed himself to the communists to place the critically wounded aboard the helicopter and to return fire with his rifle. He then assisted the pilot in maneuvering out of the landing area and the patients were safely taken to a hospital. Specialist Four Holdaway’s outstanding courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the Untied States Army