For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty the Medal of Honor was awarded to WARRANT OFFICER LOUIS R. ROCCO United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty Warrant Officer Louis R. Rocco (then Sergeant First Class), United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Advisory Team 162, distinguished himself on 24 May 1970, northeast of Katum, Republic of Vietnam, when he volunteered to accompany a medical evacuation team on an urgent mission to evacuate eight critically wounded Army of the Republic of Vietnam personnel. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it became the target for intense enemy automatic-weapons fire. Disregarding his own safety, Warrant Officer Rocco identified and placed accurate suppressive fire on the enemy positions as the aircraft descended toward the landing zone. Sustaining major damage from the enemy fire, the aircraft was forced to crash land, causing Warrant Officer Rocco to sustain a fractured wrist and hip, and a severely bruised back. Ignoring his injuries, he extracted the survivors from the burning wreckage, sustaining burns to his own body. Despite intense enemy fire, Warrant Officer Rocco carried each unconscious man across approximately twenty meters of exposed terrain to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam perimeter. On each trip, his severely burned hands and broken wrist caused excruciating pain, but the lives of the unconscious crash survivors were more important than his personal discomfort, and he continued his rescue efforts. Once inside the friendly position, Warrant Officer Rocco helped administer first aid to his wounded comrades until his wounds and burns caused him to collapse and lose consciousness. His bravery under fire and intense devotion to duty were directly responsible for saving three of his fellow soldiers from certain death. His unparalleled bravery in the face of enemy fire, his complete disregard for his own pain and injuries, and his performance were far above and beyond the call of duty and were in keeping with the highest traditions of self-sacrifice and courage of the military service.