Monday, September 28, 2009

B-1B crew to get Mackay Trophy for bombing run


B-1B crew to get Mackay Trophy for bombing run: "The Mackay Trophy is going this year to the crew of a B-1B Lancer bomber, credited with helping stop a remote base in Afghanistan from being overrun by insurgents.Earning the honor for flying the most meritorious Air Force mission of 2008 are Maj. Norman Shelton, Capt. Kaylene Giri, Capt. Louis Heidema, and Capt. Boyd Smith. At the time of the mission, all were assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.The crew’s citation said 200 insurgents were trying to overrun Vehicle Patrol Base Wanat when the bomber, call sign ‘BONE 23,’ was sent to the base’s defense on July 13, 2008.At first, a joint terminal attack controller at the base requested a pair of 2,000-pound guided bombs. When the crew of BONE 23 realized the ground troops would be too close to the bomb explosions — ‘danger close,’ according to the crew — they suggested using 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions bombs. Within 30 minutes, BONE 23 flew three bomb runs ‘decisively slowing the enemy attack, allowing coalition forces to regroup,’ the Mackay citation said.The four airmen will formally accept the award Nov. 2 during the National Aeronautic Association’s fall awards banquet.Other airmen honored with the Mackay Trophy include Henry 'Hap' Arnold, Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle and Chuck Yeager."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

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