Hero profile image

Van Valenburgh III, Joseph B.

Specialist Joseph B Van Valkenburgh, III was assigned to the 228th Aviation Battalion (Assault Support Helicopter), 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam in early 1968. On 3 February 1968, Specialist Van Valkenburgh was serving as a door gunner on a UH-1D helicopter during a combat support mission near Phu Bai, Republic of Vietnam, when they reached the site of a downed aircraft. Specialist Van Valkenburgh placed a direct and heavy volume of fire on the enemy position, allowing the helicopter to land safely. He then, with no regard for his personal safety, departed the aircraft and ran across an open area to assist  in the evacuation of the wounded soldier. Upon taking the wounded soldier to medical facilities, Specialist Van Valkenburgh's helicopter returned to pick up one remaining soldier. His accurate fire support enabled his helicopter to land and effectively recover the remaining soldier. For his bravery under fire on this date, Specialist Van Valkenburgh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the nation's highest award for valor while engaging in aerial flight.