Images: Vietnam POW awarded Distinguished Flying Cross [Image 2 of 4]
Photo by Spc. Elisebet Freeburg
Left to Right: Col. Mark W. Palzer, commander, 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary); Francis G. Anton, formerly a chief warrant officer of the 71st Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion, 23d Infantry Division; and 1st Lt. Michael D. Roberge, commander, headquarters and headquarters company, 143rd ESC; display Anton’s Distinguished Flying Cross medal and citation Dec. 15 at the 1st Lt. David R. Wilson Armed Forces Reserve Center in Orlando, Fla. Anton was awarded the medal for his actions on January 5, 1968, while serving as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. While aiding U.S. infantry troops besieged by a unit of the North Vietnamese Army, Anton attacked the enemy, sustaining damage to the flight controls that resulted in a loss of hydraulic power. Anton moved the virtually-frozen flight controls, finally landing safely and saving the lives of his four-man flight crew. Captured by the enemy, Anton was held by the Viet Cong as a prisoner of war first in camps located in South Vietnam and then Hanoi until March of 1973. Anton is from Satellite Beach, Fla.