Page:GeorgeTCoker.djvu/11

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The SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

WASHINGTON

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to

LIEUTENANT GEORGE T. COKER

UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:
For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on 1 July 1966 as bombardier/navigator of a jet aircraft, serving with Attack Squadron SIXTY-FIVE, embarked in USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64), during aerial combat operations in Southeast Asia. Lieutenant (then Lieutenant, Junior Grade) Coker's crew was diverted from their planned mission to intercept and destroy three North Vietnamese torpedo boats which were threatening the northern group of United States destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf. His precise navigation enabled his aircraft to arrive at the scene of the attack in minimum time. With all three boats concentrating their fire on his aircraft, Lieutenant Coker expertly managed the aircraft ordnance system while calmly calling out airspeeds, altitude, and dive angle, thereby permitting his pilot to concentrate on the elusive, swift-maneuvering boats. A direct hit was scored on one of the boats, sinking it immediately, and a near-miss was achieved on a second boat which was sunk shortly thereafter by another CONSTELLATION aircraft. Lieutenant Coker's resourcefulness, superb airmanship, and courage in the face of great danger contributed materially to the success of the mission. His performance and dedication were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
For the President,
John W. Warner
Secretary of the Navy