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Roberts, William S.

William S (Sid) Roberts was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army Artillery in 1964. He attended and graduated flight school in 1966. In 1967 Captain Sid Roberts was assigned to the 1st Aviation Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam. On 1 July 1967, Captain Roberts was requested to fly his UH-1D (Huey) helicopter into a small landing zone just northwest of Phan Rang for the purpose of emergency ammunition resupply and medical evacuation. Upon approaching  the hazardous landing zone, his aircraft came under heavy automatic weapons fire. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he directed the helicopter to a landing, and in seconds, departed the landing zone with the wounded soldier onboard. About two minutes out of the landing zone, he received an urgent call to return  to the same landing zone and pick up another wounded soldier. Fully realizing the enemy situation and the almost inaccessible condition of the landing zone, he returned to the pickup point. On short final approach, the aircraft was hit by automatic weapons fire and simultaneously fuel pressure was lost, resulting in a reduction in power. Picking up the second wounded soldier, he then executed a maximum performance take off with his disabled aircraft and began looking for a suitable forced landing area. He was then informed that the aircraft was on fire and he perfomed a 180 degree low level auto rotation into a small clearing in an unsecure area. A rescue ship was in the immediate area and soon was in the landing zone to pick up the crew. Realizing the two injured soldiers on board required immediate medical attention, he volunteered to stay with his aircraft until a second ship could extract  himself and his crew. His courage and bravery in the face of enemy fire saved the lives of the wounded soldiers and prevented the aircraft from serious damage. For his heroism, Captain Sid Roberts was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the nation's highest award for combat actions while participating in aerial flight. LTC Sid Roberts retired from the US Army and served in various senior management positions in Department of the Army Civilian Service. He currently serves as the deputy program manager for the Counter Rocket and Mortar (C-RAM) program.