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Duane D. Hackney

Date of birth: June 5, 1947
Date of death: September 3, 1993
Place of Birth: Michigan, Flint
Home of record: Flint Michigan

Major Patrick Wood was Air Craft commander of Airman Hackney's rescue helicopter, "Jolly Green 05" (65-12779). He and Co-Pilot Richard A. Kibbey and Helicopter Mechanic Donald J. Hall were all killed. Duane Hackney was the only survivor of "Jolly Green 05" and became the first living enlisted Airman to receive the Air Force Cross. Major Wood also received the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) for this mission. Technical Sergeant Hackney was later awarded the "Cheney" award by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. He left active duty in 1973 but returned as a Pararescue Training Course instructor until he suffered a heart attack in 1981. He retired as a First Sergeant ten years later and died two years after retirement at age 46.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Air Force Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Airman Second Class Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, as a Paramedic (Pararescueman) on an unarmed HH-3E Rescue Helicopter near Mu Gia Pass, North Vietnam, on 6 February 1967. On that date, Airman Hackney flew two sorties in a heavily defended hostile area. On the first sortie, despite the presence of armed forces known to be hostile, entrenched in the vicinity, Airman Hackney volunteered to be lowered into the jungle to search for the survivor. He searched until the controlling Search and Rescue agency ordered an evacuation of the rescue crew. On the second sortie, Airman Hackney located the downed pilot, who was hoisted into the helicopter. As the rescue crew departed the area, intense and accurate 37-mm. flak tore into the helicopter amidships, causing extensive damage and a raging fire aboard the craft. With complete disregard for his own safety, Airman Hackney fitted his parachute to the rescued man. In this moment of impending disaster, Airman Hackney chose to place his responsibility to the survivor above his own life. The courageous Pararescueman located another parachute for himself and had just slipped his arms through the harness when a second 37-mm. round struck the crippled aircraft, sending it out of control. The force of the explosion blew Airman Hackney through the open cargo door and, though stunned, he managed to deploy the unbuckled parachute and make a successful landing. He was later recovered by a companion helicopter. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Airman Hackney reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 6-Feb-67

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman Second Class

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Airman First Class Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pararescue Specialist during a rocket attack on DaNang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 July 1967. On that date, Airman Hackney entered the most heavily damaged area while the attack was occurring and was personally responsible for saving the lives of six men. Airman Hackney unhesitantly approached burning aircraft and exploding ordnance to rescue wounded personnel. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Hackney has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 15-Jul-67

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman First Class

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Airman's Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 2, 1926 (as amended July 6, 1960), takes pleasure in presenting the Airman's Medal to Airman First Class Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life while serving as a Pararescue Specialist with the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, near Hue, Vietnam, on 15 November 1966. On that date, a successful rescue recovery was accomplished on a United States Navy sailor after his ship had capsized in extremely heavy seas and near gale force winds. With complete disregard for his own safety, Airman Hackney unhesitatingly lowered himself into the churning surf and persevered in his humanitarian efforts until the sailor was retrieved. The exemplary courage and heroism displayed by Airman Hackney reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 15-Nov-66

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman Second Class

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Airman Second Class Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Southeast Asia.

Action Date: Vietnam War

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman Second Class

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V" to Airman Second Class Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as Rescue Specialist on an HH-3E in the Demilitarized Zone of South Vietnam on 13 March 1967. On that date, Airman Hackney assisted in the successful rescue of a seriously injured crewmember, whose aircraft had been downed by ground fire in hostile territory. Fighter aircraft attempted to reduce hostile action, but because of the number of unfriendly troops in the area, strong opposition was never completely suppressed. In view of the seriousness of the survivor's injuries and with nightfall rapidly approaching when rescue would be impossible, Airman Hackney, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, assisted in retrieving the crew member and provided life saving medical treatment despite intense ground fire which rendered inoperative several vital systems of his helicopter. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Airman Hackney reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: March 13, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman Second Class

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Airman Second Class Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 22 February 1967. On that date, Airman Hackney, as Rescue Specialist of an HH-3E helicopter, participated in a night SAR effort on two downed airmen near Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand. This mission, conducted during the hours of darkness and under adverse weather conditions, was made more hazardous by the constant possibility of mid-air collision with descending inert flares being dropped from above. Upon locating the survivor and landing in his vicinity, Airman Hackney ran to the downed pilot and assisted the injured man on board and then administered first aid. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Airman Hackney reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: February 22, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman Second Class

Company: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Staff Sergeant Duane D. Hackney (AFSN: 16827003), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Pararescue Technician on an HH-53 Rescue Helicopter near DaNang Airfield, Republic of Vietnam, on 7 June 1970. On that date, Sergeant Hackney's outstanding airmanship and sound technical skill, displayed under the hazardous conditions of making a pick-up in a known hostile area, culminated in the rescue of a United States Marine aviator from probable death or capture by hostile armed forces. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Hackney exposed himself manning his gun position throughout the rescue effort, thus insuring the success of the mission. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Hackney reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: June 7, 1970

Service: Air Force

Rank: Staff Sergeant