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First Name: Patrick

Last Name: Brady

Birthplace: Philip, SD, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Henry

Date of Birth: 01 October 1936

Rank: Major General

Years Served: 1959 - 1993
Patrick Henry Brady

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Patrick Henry Brady
Major General, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Patrick Henry Brady was born on 1 October 1936 at Philip, SD. Brady is a retired U.S. Army Major General and helicopter pilot who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War.

Brady attended O'Dea High School in Seattle, WA, a strict, all-boys school run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, where he was active in sports.

While in college at Seattle University, he initially hated the compulsory ROTC program and was kicked out. Brady realized he would probably be drafted after graduation and reentered the ROTC so he could enter the service as an officer. After graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps in 1959. He graduated from the U.S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, AL, in 1963.

During his first tour in Vietnam, then-Captain Brady served with the 57th Medical Detachment, where his commanding officer was the legendary Major Charles Kelly. After Kelly's death on 1 July 1964, Brady took command of the 57th Medical's Detachment A in Soc Trang. On his second tour, Brady, now a Major, was second in command of the 54th Medical Detachment. It was during this tour that Brady was awarded his Medal of Honor.

Brady was one of only two men to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's highest and second highest awards for valor, during the Vietnam War.

Medal of Honor Citation

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, Medical Service Corps, 54th Medical Detachment, 67th Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade.

Place and date: Near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, 6 January 1968.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, Maj. Brady distinguished himself while serving in the Republic of Vietnam commanding a UH-1H ambulance helicopter, volunteered to rescue wounded men from a site in enemy held territory which was reported to be heavily defended and to be blanketed by fog. To reach the site he descended through heavy fog and smoke and hovered slowly along a valley trail, turning his ship sideward to blow away the fog with the backwash from his rotor blades. Despite the unchallenged, close-range enemy fire, he found the dangerously small site, where he successfully landed and evacuated 2 badly wounded South Vietnamese soldiers. He was then called to another area completely covered by dense fog where American casualties lay only 50 meters from the enemy. Two aircraft had previously been shot down and others had made unsuccessful attempts to reach this site earlier in the day. With unmatched skill and extraordinary courage, Maj. Brady made 4 flights to this embattled landing zone and successfully rescued all the wounded. On his third mission of the day Maj. Brady once again landed at a site surrounded by the enemy. The friendly ground force, pinned down by enemy fire, had been unable to reach and secure the landing zone. Although his aircraft had been badly damaged and his controls partially shot away during his initial entry into this area, he returned minutes later and rescued the remaining injured. Shortly thereafter, obtaining a replacement aircraft, Maj. Brady was requested to land in an enemy minefield where a platoon of American soldiers was trapped. A mine detonated near his helicopter, wounding 2 crewmembers and damaging his ship. In spite of this, he managed to fly 6 severely injured patients to medical aid. Throughout that day Maj. Brady utilized 3 helicopters to evacuate a total of 51 seriously wounded men, many of whom would have perished without prompt medical treatment. Maj. Brady's bravery was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Medical Service Corps) Patrick Henry Brady (ASN: 0-88015), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with 54th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance), 74th Medical Battalion, 67th Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade. Major Brady distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 2 and 3 October 1967 as pilot of an ambulance helicopter on a rescue mission near Tam Ky. A friendly force requested extraction of several seriously wounded soldiers from a mountainous jungle landing zone, and Major Brady volunteered to attempt the rescue although heavy storms had grounded numerous aircraft in the area. Flying by instruments and radar, he arrived in the area of engagement and began a vertical descent into the tight landing zone by the light of flares. Unable to see more than a few feet outside his aircraft, he skillfully maneuvered to the friendly forces, loaded his ship to capacity and quickly flew to the hospital. The storm increased in intensity and made flying extremely hazardous, but he returned to the pickup site and once more attempted to land. As he approached the area, enemy forces directed devastating machine gun and automatic weapons fire at him. Completely disregarding his personal welfare, he flew low over the area for forty-five minutes before he located the friendly forces. Guiding himself by the flashes of the enemy weapons, he flew into the landing zone through a curtain of fire and loaded eight patients. He quickly flew the patients to the hospital, and once more returned to pick up the remaining casualties and carry them to safety. His fearless actions were responsible for the rapid and successful evacuation of several wounded fellow soldiers. Major Brady's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2733 (June 7, 1968)

During his two tours in Vietnam, Brady flew over 2,000 combat missions and evacuated more than 5,000 wounded. After Vietnam, Brady continued in the Army and retired as a Major General in 1993 after 34 years of service. He now serves as Chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance, an organization dedicated to protecting the American flag from desecration.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with Valor Device and Award Numeral 52
Army Commendation Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star
Korea Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Award Numeral 5
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Palm and Silver Star
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Medal
Master Aviator Badge
Air Assault Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge

Honoree ID: 902   Created by: MHOH




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