By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded 


Robert C. Peda



Rank and Organization:  First Lieutenant, Troop A, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division

Date and Place:  7 April 1968, Republic of Vietnam

Reason:  For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam:  First Lieutenant Peda distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 April 1968 as wingman of an aero-scout fire team that was engaged in reconnaissance of an area near Long Vinh known to contain many enemy positions.  Lieutenant Peda located several of the insurgent emplacements and unhesitantly attacked them while being subjected to intense hostile fire.  During the battle, Lieutenant Peda's helicopter was hit by automatic weapons fire, causing it to burst into flames and crash.  He was thrown out of the aircraft as it hit the ground.  Though badly wounded, he crawled back to the blazing wreckage to rescue his observer who was trapped inside it.  Prior to reaching the aircraft, it exploded and threw Lieutenant Peda through the air, mortally wounding him.  His courageous actions and determined efforts to save a fellow soldier's life were an inspiration to other aviators and troops in the area.  First Lieutenant Peda's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.



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