Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Navy

Michael John Estocin

  • Rank: Captain (rank at time of action: Lieutenant Commander)
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Attack Squadron 192,
    U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CVA-14)
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 26, 1967
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Haiphong, North Vietnam

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 20 and 26 April 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron 192, embarked in U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Leading a three-plane group of aircraft in support of a coordinated strike against two thermal powerplants in Haiphong, North Vietnam, on 20 April 1967, Capt. Estocin provided continuous warnings to the strike group leaders of the surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats, and personally neutralized three SAM sites. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding missile, he reentered the target area and relentlessly prosecuted a SHRIKE attack in the face of intense antiaircraft fire. With less than five minutes of fuel remaining he departed the target area and commenced in-flight refueling which continued for over 100 miles. Three miles aft of the Ticonderoga, and without enough fuel for a second approach, he disengaged from the tanker and executed a precise approach to a fiery arrested landing. On 26 April 1967, in support of a coordinated strike against the vital fuel facilities in Haiphong, he led an attack on a threatening SAM site, during which his aircraft was seriously damaged by an exploding SAM, nevertheless, he regained control of his burning aircraft and courageously launched his SHRIKE missiles before departing the area. By his inspiring courage and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Capt. Estocin upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Medal of Honor Recipient Michael J. Estocin
Medal of Honor Recipient Michael J. Estocin
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Akron, Summit County, Ohio
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: February 27, 1978

    The Pentagon (Hall of Heroes), presented by Sec. of the Navy W. Graham Claytor Jr. to his family

  • Born: April 27, 1931, Turtle Creek, Allegheny County, PA, United States
  • Died: April 26, 1967, North Vietnam
  • Buried: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery ('In Memory' marker) (MA-112), San Diego, CA, United States

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