Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

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Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

Rolla M. Breed | Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame

Rolla M. Breed

Major Rolla M. Breed, United States Army, retired. 1955 alumnus of Paris High School, Paris Arkansas and 1972 graduate of the University of Texas, El Paso. Private Breed served two years in the Arkansas National Guard and one year as a midshipman in the Naval Reserve before entering active duty in the Army in 1957. He served six years as an enlisted man, attaining the rank of Specialist 5, and was commissioned upon graduation from Artillery and Missile Officer Candidate School on the day after President John F, Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. He was assigned to an Air Defense Battery in the Saint Louis Defense until selection for flight training in 1965. His first assignment out of flight school was with the 116th Assault Helicopter Company where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star with V device, and two Army Commendation Medals with V Device. After a tour as an Instructor Pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas, he returned to Viet Nam to serve as Operations Officer and Scout Platoon Leaser in D Troop, 3/5 Cavalry, earning two Silver Stars, another Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldiers Medal, two Air Medals with V device, another Army Commendation Medal, and a Purple Heart. He was also awarded the Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. His 2702 hours of combat time piloting helicopters earned him 81 Air Medals. After retirement from the Army, Rolla was an engineer for General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Sikorsky Aircraft. He has been inducted into the Paris High School Hall of Fame and the Artillery and Missile OCS Hall of Fame.

The order for the Distinguished Service Cross reads: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain (then First Lieutenant) Breed distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on the night of 22 December 1966 while flying in a flight of nine troop helicopters responsible for extracting beleaguered elements of the 25th Infantry Division. Throughout the day, extremely intense hostile fire had taken its toll of infantry and helicopters. When his aircraft received several damaging hits on the first landing, Captain Breed skillfully flew to a secure area to make repairs and evacuate his wounded crew chief. Returning to the battle, he dauntlessly braved the hostile fire and impending darkness to successfully extract a lift of troops. When an aircraft was shot down on departure, Captain Breed accompanied three other aircraft back into the besieged pickup zone. As the flight attempted to insert a security force, two of the helicopters were raked by hostile fire and crashed. With complete disregard for his own safety, he selflessly remained over the battlefield, hovering in the darkness and rain, until he could safely land his troops and evacuate five of his wounded comrades. After refueling, Captain Breed voluntarily led another flight of reinforcements on a successful lift into the ravaged pickup zone. When intense Viet Cong fire brought down another helicopter, he again deliberately risked his life to rescue the wounded crew. Exposing himself to the intense fire and hazardous conditions, he courageously flew into the center of the conflict for the fifth time and extracted two more wounded men. His repeated gallantry under the most critical conditions, helped save many lives. Captain Breed’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Briefing on Cheyenne prototype by Lockheed chief test pilot Don Segnor.

Welcome relief from the heat flying at altitude providing air conditioning for my “office”

Sons Mark and David in a TH-55 training helicopter during assignment as an instructor pilot at Fort Walters, Texas

Mission briefing in the field for Air Cavalry reconnaissance-in-force mission

Final flight on active duty in F-4 of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing

Meeting John Wayne on Savings Bond tour to Los Angeles

After the action on 22 October 1966, the Area of Operation was known as Hornets’ Corner to commemorate the loss of aircraft and crew members. The radio call sign for the 116th Assault Helicopter Company was Hornets.

Pilots assigned to the scout platoon of D Troop 3rd of the 5th Cavalry

Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor awarding the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain Breed

Briefing on Cheyenne prototype by Lockheed chief test pilot Don Segnor.

Welcome relief from the heat flying at altitude providing air conditioning for my “office”

Sons Mark and David in a TH-55 training helicopter during assignment as an instructor pilot at Fort Walters, Texas

Mission briefing in the field for Air Cavalry reconnaissance-in-force mission

Final flight on active duty in F-4 of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing

Meeting John Wayne on Savings Bond tour to Los Angeles

After the action on 22 October 1966, the Area of Operation was known as Hornets’ Corner to commemorate the loss of aircraft and crew members. The radio call sign for the 116th Assault Helicopter Company was Hornets.

Pilots assigned to the scout platoon of D Troop 3rd of the 5th Cavalry

Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor awarding the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain Breed

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