Staff Sergeant Larry Rea Graves
Staff Sergeant Graves of Harrisburg earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and four awards of the Air Medal while serving in the Vietnam war as an Air Force C-123 Loadmaster.
Larry Graves enlisted in the regular United States Air Force on 22nd June 1966 for a period of 4 years. This was during the height of the Vietnam War in which many youth of his age were protesting the war, burning their draft cards, and some even relocating to Canada. His initial training was that of an Aircraft Loadmaster. Subsequently, he attended Aircraft Loadmaster Technical School, Survival Training Course, and the Pacific Jungle Survival School. His dedication and professionalism were attested to by his multiple awards of the Air Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, and last but not least the prestigious award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Staff Sergeant Larry R Graves was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross while serving in the Republic of Vietnam. The citation reads as follows: Staff Sergeant Larry R Graves distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a loadmaster near Phouc Vinh Air Base, Republic of Vietnam on 11 June 1969. On that date, Sergeant Graves’ aircraft was carrying highly explosive fuel vitally needed to support helicopter operations at a forward operating base when his aircraft was hit by ground fire. Damage to the aircraft necessitated an emergency landing and required that Sergeant Graves expeditiously offload his cargo and man a fire extinguisher to insure against aircraft fire. Sergeant Graves’ actions limited damage to his aircraft and exposure to injury to his crew. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Graves reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
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