transporting men and equipment from Baghdad to Fallujah by
helicopter on Nov. 13, 2004, Capt. Prather's helicopter came under
heavy fire from insurgents hidden in ditches below. Maj. Matthew Glover's helicopter was also under attack.
As rounds began
hitting the aircraft, Prather immediately tried to maneuver out of
the direct line of fire and find an alternate route. His crew
returned fire, but the new flight pattern exposed them to a second
enemy position. Even as he dodged hostile fire from two directions
and flew a damaged aircraft, Prather wanted to continue with the
mission to deliver the much-needed reinforcements and supplies to
After delivering the provisions, Prather assessed
the damaged aircraft and decided it was safe to fly back to an
airfield where repairs could be made. However, as they headed back
toward Baghdad, the right engine's cover detached and flew through
the aircraft's rotor blades, further crippling the helicopter.
Rather than abandon the aircraft to the enemy, Prather managed to
successfully deliver his crew of 14 men to Baghdad.
leadership and actions while under enemy fire, Prather was awarded
the Distinguished Flying Cross with “V” in November 2005.
heroic story in his own words