First Lieutenant Robert Charles Peda
First Lieutenant Robert Charles Peda was commissioned an Infantry Officer upon graduation from Infantry Officer Candidate School Class 8-66, 26 May 1966. At the time he was Killed in Action, First Lieutenant Peda was serving with Troop A, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division as a wingman of an aero-scout fire team. 1LT Peda was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
CITATION: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, Lieutenant Peda was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Lieutenant Peda distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 April 1968 as wingman of an aero-scout fire team that was engaged in reconnaissance of an area near Long Vinh known to contain many enemy positions. Lieutenant Peda located several of the insurgent emplacements and unhesitantly attacked them while being subjected to intense hostile fire. During the battle, Lieutenant Peda's helicopter was hit by automatic weapons fire, causing it to burst into flames and crash. He was thrown out of the aircraft as it hit the ground. Though badly wounded, he crawled back to the blazing wreckage to rescue his observer who was trapped inside it. Prior to reaching the aircraft, it exploded and threw Lieutenant Peda through the air, mortally wounding him. His courageous actions and determined efforts to save a fellow soldier's life were an inspiration to other aviators and troops in the area. First Lieutenant Peda's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
His military awards and decorations includes: Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and the Aviator Badge.