Joseph D. Newsome ’61

Joseph D. Newsome

Joseph D. Newsome
Class of 1961
145th Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade, USARV

Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism For heroism in aerial flight as the pilot of an armed helicopter during the savage Battle of Dong Xoai in 1965. During the initial assault into what became an intensely hot LZ to include mortar fire into the landing area, Captain Newsome provided suppressive fire unto the flanks of the LZ allowing assaulting personnel to respond to the enemy attack. When one of the troop carrying aircraft was disabled by a mortar round and crashed, Captain Newsome without regard for his own safety and under extremely heavy fire, attempted to rescue the crew. During that descent he was hit by another mortar round, and just before touch-down the damaged helicopter on the ground exploded. At that point Captain Newsome broke his approach and provided suppressive fire for the ARVN unit and their advisors. His further attempts to rescue American advisors ended when the Viet Cong directed their fire into the advisors’ position and the unit became overwhelmed by the enemy force. With no communications in his aircraft, little remaining ammunition or gas, and a very damaged ship he reluctantly broke contact and departed the area.

228th Aviation Battalion (Assault Support Helicopter) (Airmobile) 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), USARV

Distinguished Flying Cross with OLC for heroism above and beyond the call of duty in aerial flight, while serving as a flight leader during Operation Delaware in the A Shau Valley in early 1968. During that period the anti-aircraft defenses and troop concentrations in the A Shau Valley were not equaled anywhere in Vietnam, and maneuver units frequently found themselves in emergency situations as a result. Despite these facts and also that numerous aircraft had been lost that day in attempting to resupply an engaged unit, Major Newsome repeatedly flew into a hostile LZ to delivery critical ammunition and other critical supplies essential to the survival of that unit and the success of the operation. Each approach was under fire.