Captain Kennedy, Leland T. Air Force
Air Force Cross
Captain Leland T. Kennedy
OLC in Lieu of 2nd Award
U.S. Air Force
Det 5, 38th Aero Space Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Udorn RTAFB, Thailand
Date Of Action: October 20, 1966
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Captain Leland T. Kennedy for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a HH-3E Helicopter Pilot in Southeast Asia on 20 October 1966. On that date, Captain Kennedy successfully recovered six downed American airmen. Despite the intense, accurately directed, hostile fire which damaged his own unarmed rescue helicopter, Captain Kennedy, with indomitable courage and professional skill, chose to land next to a disabled companion helicopter and retrieve the crew, plus a previously rescued wounded F-4C pilot. With undaunted determination, Captain Kennedy, then amid hostile fire, sought and successfully recovered the second downed F-4C pilot. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Kennedy reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.