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Name: CPT Hugh Reavis Nelson, Jr.
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 06/05/1966 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 28.9
Date of Birth: 07/11/1937
Home City: Rocky Mount, NC
Service: AT branch of the regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 114 AHC
Major organization: other
Service: AT branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 08E-012
Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 63-12942
Service number: O99098
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 01/02/1966
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 06
Location: Unknown Province

Additional information about this casualty:
CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARDING OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 26, 1963 has awarded the Distinguished Service Cross Posthumously, For Extraordinary Heroism in Action: to Captain Hugh Reavis Nelson Jr; Artillery, distinguished himself Extraordinary Heroism 5 June 1966, while serving as a member of the 114th Aviation Company (Airmobile Light) and engaged in military operations in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain Nelson was acting as Aircraft Commander of a Cobra Aircraft when it was struck by hostile gun fire, downed in the middle of many insurgent positions, and had all weapons destroyed in the crash. Upon the initial impact, all persons aboard the aircraft were rendered unconscious. As the first person to regain consciousness, Captain Nelson ignored his own injuries and insurgent ground fire from multiple positions, debarked the aircraft and began to remove his fellow crewmembers to safety. Proceeding to the left side of the aircraft Captain Nelson ripped off the door with his bare hands and removed a dazed specialist who had been pinned in the cargo compartment. After placing the specialist on the ground and observing that the injured pilot had managed to get out of the aircraft, Captain Nelson climbed into the Cobra to assist the other Specialist still trapped inside the aircraft. While insurgents continued a heavy volume of automatic and small arms fire at a range of approximately 30 feet from the aircraft, Captain Nelson continued his gallant efforts until he freed the trapped crew member. He then forced the specialist to the ground and, using his own body as a human shield to cover his comrade, took numerous hits from small arms fire saving the life of the fellow soldier at the sacrifice of his own. Because of this conspicuous, beyond the call of duty bravery this last act of his life enabled the saved crew member to send a signal with a smoke grenade to supporting aircraft which resulted in the successful evacuation of the three survivors. Captain Nelson's extraordinary heroism on the battlefield reflects great credit upon himself, the United States Army, and the Armed Forces of his county.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Episcopal (Anglican)
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 01/17/2019

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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