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PersonID601260
Name (Last, First Middle)Stevens, Donald D.
Branch at time of eventUSAF
RankCaptain
Graduation1960
SquadronCS 01
Home TownClayton
Home StateIL
High SchoolClayton High School, Clayton, IL.
High School ActivitiesBoy Scouts, 4-H Club, Softball,Class Pres, Yearbook, Debate, Acapella Choir, Band, Stu Council, Glee Club
Post High SchoolMassInstTech(1) AFROTC, Intramural Sports, Softball, Glee Club
Academy ExperiencesHonor Rep, Radio Club, Ski Club, Forum, Forensic Club Prot Choir, Photo Club, Supt's List(4)
Academic Degree MajorBS-USAF Academy,1960 MS-Math Mich State Univ,1969 MS Ope Res, AZ State Univ, 1974 PhD-Ops Res, AZ State Univ, 1977 SOS(R) 1965 AirWC(R), 1978
Active Duty AssignmentsPltTng GrahamAB/VanceAFB; Plt 4781FlyTngSq PerringAFB; Plt 75FlSq DowAFB; SOS; FAC 20TASSq QuangNgaiSVN; ShJaAA; MS Math MIStUniv; InstrMath USAFA; PhD IndustrialEngr AZStUniv; C MACRO TaskForce DirStudies&Analysis DCS/Plans HqMAC; PhD OR AZStUniv; C AirWarfare Studies&Analysis DeptMilEmployment AirWC; HeadOpnsSciDept AFIT; V-Cmdr CenAerospDoctrineRschEd MaxwellAFB; Cmdr CenAerospDoctrineRschEd MaxwellAFB;
Civilian PositionsSr Research Engr Georgia Institute of Technology, Signature Technology Lab AtlantaGA;
Award Year1968
Award Summary InformationCaptain Stevens distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in a military operation near Quang Ngai City, Republic of Vietnam, on 19 August 1967. At 1630 hours he was scrambled on a forward air control mission in an unarmed 0-2A aircraft to assist in recovering a wounded American soldier. There were two hard-core enemy battalions in the area. He spotted the soldier on the beach, saw an estimated 50 enemy soldiers moving toward the body from 100 meters away, and located five areas of concentrated heavy automatic and 50 caliber anti-aircraft weapons fire within 200 meters of the body, one, only 40 meters away. Captain Stevens made multiple passes into the heavy enemy fire, fired four marking rockets between the advancing enemy and the soldier; directed USAF fighter attacks, giving careful and precise instructions concerning the location of the body, the advancing enemy, and the areas of concentrated fire. He then directed the evacuation helicopters to the area. The weather rapidly deteriorated as thunderstorms with heavy rain and 500 foot ceilings approaching as sunset neared, causing premature darkness. Forced to fly under lowering ceilings, he received intense anti-aircraft fire. Captain Stevens, with total dis-regard for his own personal safety, voluntarily repeatedly made low passes over the beach at an altitude of 50 feet, accurately marking the position of the soldier. After ascertaining the soldier was still alive and despite receiving continuous sheets of high volume automatic weapons fire and sustaining a hit in the right wing, he persevered in his rescue attempt, and finally succeeded in securing the safe extraction of the wounded soldier and the reaction team. At the last useable light under IFR conditions, the weather became so bad that he could no longer fly in the area or see the target, Captain Stevens proceeded to Quang Ngai airfield, nine miles away, and landed at dark under minimum weather conditions on an unlighted field with no control facilities. During the entire two and one-half hours that he spent in the target area, he was exposed to constant deadly enemy ground fire. His courageous actions, calm conduct, sound judgment, and superior skill of flying while directing various supporting arms resulted in the successful rescue of the wounded soldier with no further casualties by any participating friendly units.
Involved Crew MembersNone
Burial Site/DateN/A
Aeronautical Speciality RatingCommand Pilot
Notable Military and Civilian Decorations & AwardsAFC,SS,LM,DFC,MSM(2),AM(16),AFCM Parish Award-Chair Cadet Honor Committee 1960 Goddard Award-Outstanding Cadet in Mathematics, 1960 Jabara Award, 1968
CommentsRetired Colonel 1986
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