Larry D. Wright, U.S.A.
Citation: Distinguished Service Cross
War: Vietnam War
LARRY D. WRIGHT, Specialist Five, United States Army Troop A, 1st Squadron, 9th Calvary Division (Airmobile). For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Five Wright distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 2 October 1966 while serving as door gunner on the command helicopter during aerial support of combat maneuvers near Hung Lac. Prior to the infiltration of infantry units into this area, Specialist Wright's helicopter surveyed the territory, spotting small groups approaching the village of Hung Lac. An infantry platoon was helilifted into a landing zone to search the village and made heavy contact with a Viet Cong Battalion. Specialist Wright's aircraft quickly flew in and hovered over the friendly unit, enabling him to pour suppressive fire into the enemy emplacements. During the fierce firefight, he spotted several Viet Cong in a trench about to ambush a friendly element. His extremely accurate fire, to within three meters of the friendly soldiers, destroyed the ambush and killed several of the attackers. When confronted with a machine gun position firing directly at his aircraft, Specialist Wright disregarded his personal safety by stepping out onto the skid of the helicopter and destroying that emplacement. Having landed near a pinned down squad, Specialist Wright again ignored the threat of hostile fire which ravaged the zone to race to the side of a wounded man lying in the open. He carried the casualty to the aircraft and placed him aboard just as enemy rounds hit the helicopter's hydraulic system and fuel cell. After the pilot flew to safety 150 meters away, Specialist Wright returned to the battlefield in an unarmed helicopter to rescue two more wounded men. Throughout the battle, he dauntlessly ignored imminent danger to himself to support the infantry forces. Specialist Five Wright's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Mr. Wright resides in Florida.