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Noel A. Harris, Jr.

First Lieutenant

Distinguished Flying Cross

Noel A. Harris, Jr., from Strawberry, Arkansas, graduated from Arkansas State University with a B.S. degree in math and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, May 1968. By 12 September 1969, he was serving active duty in Vietnam as an attack helicopter pilot. On 22 March 1970, First Lieutenant Harris was killed near Cao Mau, South Vietnam. In November 1969 and January 1970, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal (twice), the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

On 22 March 1970, First Lieutenant Noel A. Harris was aircraft commander of a helicopter gunship supporting friendly ground forces near Cao Mau, South Vietnam. To pinpoint enemy positions and draw fire away from the ground forces, he made two machinegun attacks. Finally, to stop the enemy from overrunning the friendly forces, Lieutenant Harris made a daring rocket run "head-on into enemy fire". Hit by enemy gunfire, he lost control of his aircraft and was killed. As a result of his actions, he was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross--"for heroism above and beyond the call of duty".