Friday, October 22, 2021

Stephen Pless: "Eventually he was flying so low, his own machine gun rounds impacting the ground sent mud flying onto his windshield."



The most decorated air crew of the Vietnam War. Left to Right: GySgt Leroy Poulson, LCpl John Phelps, Capt Rupert Fairfield, Capt Stephen Pless. USMC Photo.


In January 1969, Pless (second from left) was presented the Medal of Honor at the White House, along with 3 other servicemen. (Drew Dix is the last man on the right.)

My Friend, NAGO And Drew Dix, CMOH Winner

On 19 August 1967, an Army CH-47 Chinook flew north along the coast of Vietnam. It came under heavy ground fire a mile south of Chu Lai and was forced down on the beach of the South China Sea. Four soldiers exited the aircraft to inspect the damage sustained.

As they inspected the bird, a grenade suddenly exploded in front of the chopper and small arms fire followed after. The soldiers sprinted towards the rear of the aircraft to board and escape the ambush. The pilot saw enemy soldiers emerging from the trees nearby and bullets kicked up the sand all around. Next mortar rounds began falling around his aircraft. He hastily yanked the chopper back into the sky, without realizing his passengers had not yet made it back on board.

As he gained altitude, the pilot saw the four soldiers stranded on the beach with the enemy closing in. He called over the radio for help from anyone who might be listening.

More @ Battlesite Zero


  1. Semper Fi to all 4 Marines. All deserved the MoH. But head guy gets 1st placed MH, crew get the NaCr, and soldiers get to live another day. The sobs who didn't come to help should get Kp duty for a year.

    1. The sobs who didn't come to help

      Evidently they weren't given a direct order; otherwise they would have gotten much more than KP.