Captain Raymond R. Rau – (DSC)

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Aviation) Raymond R. Rau (ASN: 0-91491), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with 221st Reconnaissance Airplane Company, 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade. Captain Rau distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 21 June 1967 while serving as pilot of a reconnaissance airplane supporting Special Forces guerrilla operations in Vinh Binh Province near the South China Sea. The ground unit had split into small teams to move through dense mangrove swamps. One team was suddenly ambushed by a large Viet Cong force firing automatic weapons and small arms. Captain Rau called for medical evacuation helicopters and gunships and immediately dove his light plane toward the ambush site to locate enemy positions in the heavy undergrowth. Despite a hail of heavy automatic weapons fire directed at his aircraft, he began a series of rocket runs, firing his ordnance at the insurgents from treetop level. Debris from the resulting explosions raked his plane, but Captain Rau fearlessly continued to strike the enemy positions until his rockets were expended. Remaining over the battle site, he fired his automatic rifle from the window of the cockpit and directed gunship runs which suppressed the hostile fire while the unit’s casualties were evacuated. After refueling and rearming his aircraft, he returned at dusk to again support the ground troops who had come under a fanatical attack by a numerically superior Viet Cong force. Braving a curtain of enemy fire, Captain Rau made repeated low level passes and placed devastating rocket fire on the insurgents. Out of ammunition, he directed mortar fire of nearby Navy patrol boats against the enemy. When the boats began receiving hostile fire from concealed enemy positions on the beach, he turned on his landing lights and dove through an intense barrage of automatic weapons fire at the Viet Cong. This action enabled the ships to pinpoint and destroy the enemy positions. Throughout the night, he directed medical evacuation helicopters to the beleaguered force and skillfully adjusted the supporting fires of friendly ships and aircraft on enemy positions. His gallant actions saved many fellow soldiers from almost certain destruction. Captain Rau’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.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1406 (March 28, 1968)

Action Date: 21-Jun-67

Service: Army

Rank: Captain

Company: 221st Reconnaissance Airplane Company

Battalion: 13th Combat Aviation Battalion

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Monte Caylor