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Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient
Craig Prather

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USAF Capt. Craig Prather - Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor RecipientWhile 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 Fallujah.

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.

For his leadership and actions while under enemy fire, Prather was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with “V” in November 2005.

Video of Craig Prather's heroic story in his own words

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