Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Patrick Henry Brady

  • Rank: Major (Highest Rank: Major General)
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Medical Service Corps, 54th Medical Detachment, 67th Medical Group,
    44th Medical Brigade
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 6, 1968
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, Maj. Brady distinguished himself while serving in the Republic of Vietnam commanding a UH-1H ambulance helicopter, volunteered to rescue wounded men from a site in enemy-held territory which was reported to be heavily defended and to be blanketed by fog. To reach the site, he descended through heavy fog and smoke and hovered slowly along a valley trail, turning his ship sideward to blow away the fog with the backwash from his rotor blades. Despite the unchallenged, close-range enemy fire, he found the dangerously small site, where he successfully landed and evacuated two badly wounded South Vietnamese soldiers. He was then called to another area completely covered by dense fog where American casualties lay only 50 meters from the enemy. Two aircraft had previously been shot down and others had made unsuccessful attempts to reach this site earlier in the day. With unmatched skill and extraordinary courage, Maj. Brady made four flights to this embattled landing zone and successfully rescued all of the wounded. On his third mission of the day, Maj. Brady once again landed at a site surrounded by the enemy. The friendly ground force, pinned down by enemy fire, had been unable to reach and secure the landing zone. Although his aircraft had been badly damaged and his controls partially shot away during his initial entry into this area, he returned minutes later and rescued the remaining injured. Shortly thereafter obtaining a replacement aircraft, Maj. Brady was requested to land in an enemy mine field where a platoon of American soldiers was trapped. A mine detonated near his helicopter, wounding two crewmembers and damaging his ship. In spite of this, he managed to fly six severely injured patients to medical aid. Throughout that day Maj. Brady utilized three helicopters to evacuate a total of 51 seriously wounded men, many of whom would have perished without prompt medical treatment. Maj. Brady's bravery was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Seattle, King County, Washington
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 9, 1969

    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon

  • Born: October 1, 1936, Philip, Haakon County, SD, United States

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