Frederick Edgar Ferguson

Frederick Edgar Ferguson (born August 18, 1939) is a former United States Army warrant officer and later officer, as well as a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War while a chief warrant officer 3.

Frederick Edgar Ferguson
Head of a man with short, dark hair wearing a formal military uniform. Rows of ribbon bars and a winged pin are on his left breast, and a medal hangs from a light blue ribbon around his neck.
Frederick Ferguson, Medal of Honor recipient
BornAugust 18, 1939 (age 79)
Pilot Point, Texas
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1958 - 1982
RankUS-O4 insignia.svg Major
Unit227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsMedal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor

Biography

Ferguson joined the Army from Phoenix, Arizona in 1958, and by January 31, 1968 was a chief warrant officer 3 in command of a UH-1 Huey as part of Company C, 227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On that day, Ferguson voluntarily piloted his aircraft through intense enemy fire to rescue the crew and passengers of a downed helicopter in Huế, Republic of Vietnam.[1]

In addition to the Medal of Honor--the first awarded to a U.S. Army aviator in Vietnam, and the first in modern Army aviation history[2]--Ferguson was awarded two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and 39 Air Medals.[3]

Ferguson's additional honors include Military Aviator of the Year ("Kitty Hawk" Award of the Wright Brother's Committee), the President's Award, the U.S. Army Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame. He was also honored by the US Postal Service along with 23 other Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients with a limited edition stamp.[4]

Ferguson served in the Arizona Army National Guard, rising to the rank of Major before reverting to Warrant Officer rank in order to continue instructing in the UH-1.[5]

Ferguson also served as Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services in 2000.[6]

Medal of Honor citation

Chief Warrant Officer Ferguson's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. CWO Ferguson, U.S. Army distinguished himself while serving with Company C. CWO Ferguson, commander of a resupply helicopter monitoring an emergency call from wounded passengers and crewmen of a downed helicopter under heavy attack within the enemy-controlled city of Hue, unhesitatingly volunteered to attempt evacuation. Despite warnings from all aircraft to stay clear of the area due to heavy antiaircraft fire, CWO Ferguson began a low-level flight at maximum airspeed along the Perfume River toward the tiny, isolated South Vietnamese Army compound in which the crash survivors had taken refuge. Coolly and skillfully maintaining his course in the face of intense, short range fire from enemy occupied buildings and boats, he displayed superior flying skill and tenacity of purpose by landing his aircraft in an extremely confined area in a blinding dust cloud under heavy mortar and small-arms fire. Although the helicopter was severely damaged by mortar fragments during the loading of the wounded, CWO Ferguson disregarded the damage and, taking off through the continuing hail of mortar fire, he flew his crippled aircraft on the return route through the rain of fire that he had experienced earlier and safely returned his wounded passengers to friendly control. CWO Ferguson's extraordinary determination saved the lives of 5 of his comrades. His actions are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself and the U.S. Army.[1]

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b "Medal of Honor recipients - Vietnam (A-L)". United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  2. ^ ""Above The Best" Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1983 Induction". Army Aviation Association of America. Army Aviation Association of America. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  3. ^ Hess, Bill (13 Nov 1983). "Freedom was never cheap, Vietnam hero says". The Courier, Prescott AZ. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  4. ^ Volentine, Jason. "Decorated Valley veteran gets new honor". AZFamily.com. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Ferguson E. Frederick". PimaAir.org. Pima Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Frederick Edgar Ferguson". www.cemetery.state.tx.us/. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
Chief warrant officer

Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the United States Armed Forces, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Pakistan Air Force, the Israel Defense Forces, the South African National Defence Force, the Lebanese Armed Forces and, since 2012, the Singapore Armed Forces. In the United States Armed Forces, chief warrant officers are commissioned officers, not non-commissioned officers (NCOs) like in other NATO forces.

List of living Medal of Honor recipients

There are currently 70 living recipients of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon any member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."Of the 70 living recipients, three earned their Medals of Honor in World War II, five in the Korean War, 49 in the Vietnam War, and 13 in the War in Afghanistan. One earned his medal while serving in the U.S. Air Force, 49 in the U.S. Army, 12 in the U.S. Marine Corps, and eight in the U.S. Navy. The oldest recipient is Charles H. Coolidge, aged 97, whereas the youngest is Kyle Carpenter, aged 29. Two medal holders are still on active duty in the U.S. military, War in Afghanistan soldier William D. Swenson of the U.S. Army and Edward Byers of the U.S. Navy. Among the recipients are former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey and three retired generals: Patrick Henry Brady and Robert F. Foley of the Army and James E. Livingston of the Marine Corps.

Pilot Point, Texas

Pilot Point is a city in Denton County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,856 at the 2010 census.

Texas Medal of Honor Memorial

The Texas Medal of Honor Memorial is a statue commemorating recipients of the Medal of Honor from the state of Texas. Sculpted by Doyle Glass and Scott Boyer, it was dedicated on Memorial Day of 2008 in Midland, Texas at the Commemorative Air Force International Headquarters. In July 2018 the Memorial was assigned to the Ground Forces Detachment of the Commemorative Air Force and moved to Gainesville, Texas. It's currently on display at the North Central Texas College in the Library building and open to the public.The Memorial depicts Medal of Honor recipient George H. O'Brien, Jr. as he would appear on the day he earned the Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War. Perched on a rock, the heroic-sized bronze figure rises above a granite base, which displays the names of most recipients of the medal from Texas. The Model for this statue was Buck Hartlage a Louisville Kentucky native.

Warrant officer (United States)

In the United States Armed Forces, the ranks of warrant officer (grades W‑1 to W‑5; see NATO: WO1–WO5) are rated as officers above senior non-commissioned officers, candidates, cadets, and midshipmen but subordinate to the officer grade of O‑1 (NATO: OF‑1). This application differs from the Commonwealth of Nations and other militaries, where warrant officers are the most senior of the other ranks (NATO: OR‑8 and OR‑9), equivalent to the US Armed Forces grades of E‑8 and E‑9.

Warrant officers are highly skilled, single-track specialty officers, and while the ranks are authorized by Congress, each branch of the uniformed services selects, manages, and uses warrant officers in slightly different ways. For appointment to the rank of warrant officer one (W‑1), normally a warrant is approved by the secretary of the respective service. However, appointment to this rank can come via commission by the service secretary, the department secretary, or by the President, but this is more uncommon. For the chief warrant officer ranks (CW‑2 to CW‑5), these warrant officers are commissioned by the President. Both warrant officers and chief warrant officers take the same oath as regular commissioned officers (O‑1 to O‑10).

Warrant officers can and do command detachments, units, activities, vessels, aircraft, and armored vehicles, as well as lead, coach, train, and counsel subordinates. However, the warrant officer's primary task as a leader is to serve as a technical expert, providing valuable skills, guidance, and expertise to commanders and organizations in their particular field.

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