Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

HH-60 pilot awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for December rescue

Nov. 1, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Capt. Charles C. Napier, bottom right, poses with his team members while deployed to Afghanistan.
Capt. Charles C. Napier, bottom right, poses with his team members while deployed to Afghanistan. (Courtesy Capt. Charles Napier)
  • Filed Under

Capt. Charles Napier and his Pave Hawk crew hovered over the firefight, waiting for a lull to make the move and rescue three injured soldiers.

Insurgents had fired RPGs at the other HH-60, and two Army OH-58 Kiowas were returning fire.

Napier decided to land his Pave Hawk between the soldiers and the enemy, with the door gunners able to fire back while pararescuemen loaded the soldiers. During the mission, the aircraft was on the ground for just 15 seconds to load the critically wounded soldiers.

That Dec. 10, 2012, mission saved the lives of the injured soldiers and has resulted in several awards, including a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor presented to Napier on Oct. 17.

“That was a total surprise,” Napier said in an Armed Forces News Service article on the ceremony. “I would not have expected this [recognition] in my wildest dreams. I am really humbled.”

Napier was also awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal and his 16th Air Medal. In addition to Napier, a Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded to Capt. Brian Dicks, Master Sgt. William Fritsch and Staff Sgt. Joshua Reid. Reid and Fritsch received their medals Sept. 20.

Capt. Ryan Prince, Capt. Patrick Mount, Tech. Sgt. Justin Wilks and Staff Sgt. Jason St. John will receive the Air Medal with Valor.

Napier is a student at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in California. He is studying French and plans to become an exchange pilot to fly search and rescue missions.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

Readiness at risk
James' mission: Prioritize wisely to maintain capable, agile force

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook