CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
Southeast Asia - The Vietnam War - Cambodia
Staff Sergeant Donald W. East
Staff Sergeant Donald W. East, Jr. distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force at a landing zone in Northern Cambodia, from 23 June 1970 to 25 June 1970.
On those dates, Sergeant East was providing Air Traffic Control to C-47, C-123, and C-7A aircraft in the evacuation of three thousand Cambodia refugees when his field came under attack by rockets, mortars and advancing ground forces. With complete disregard for his own safety he climbed upon his MRC-148 radio vehicle to give takeoff instructions to three C-7A aircraft who were helpless targets of the attack.
From his open and unprotected position he directed the immediate safe departure of the three aircraft. His courageous actions saved the lives of many Army of the Republic of Vietnam Ranger and Cambodia defenders who were waiting departure from the field, as well as 200-300 Cambodian refugees; men, women and children who were still at the field.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty Sergeant East has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.