Royal Air Force's 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force
Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr. has done something no other U.S. service member has done since WWII. On March 21 of this year, Maj. Chesarek was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross, by Queen Elizabeth, for saving lives and in recognition for his bravery during combat operations in Iraq. Maj. Chesark was assigned as an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force's 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force in 2005 and was the pilot of the RAF's Lynx Mk7 helicopter.
On the evening of June 10, 2006, Chesarek was providing radio communication relay for British ground troops conducting a company-sized search operation near Amarah, Iraq. Listening to radio transmissions, he overheard that a vehicle involved in the operation had became disabled and a crowd of insurgents was firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the company.
According to his award citation, "Chesarek elected to fly low over the area in an attempt to distract the crowd and if possible, to engage the insurgents." Because the crowd was so close to the ground troops, instead of engaging his machine gun, he "opted instead to provide bold, harassing, very low level flight over the area in an attempt to disperse the crowd."
You can read Maj. Chesarek's story in it's entirety here.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll.