1968: MEDAL OF HONOR. Lt Col Joe M. Jackson volunteers to rescue a three-man Air Force combat control team at Kham Duc. Before the rescue, enemy forces set the camp afire, overrun the forward outpost, and establish gun positions on the airstrip. They had destroyed eight aircraft, and one aircraft remained on the littered runway. Despite the odds, Jackson and his crew (Maj Jesse Campbell, TSgt Edward M. Trejo, and SSgt Manson L. Grubbs) land their C-123 under intense hostile fire but are forced to take off. Making a second attempt, under hostile conditions again, Jackson lands his C-123, extracts the combat controllers, and returns to safety. For his valiant effort, he receives the Medal of Honor, the only airlifter so honored in the Vietnam Conflict. Major Campbell receives the Air Force Cross, while Sergeants Trejo and Grubbs receive Silver Stars.
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