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Jacksel Markham Broughton

Date of birth: January 4, 1925
Place of Birth: New York, Utica

Jacksel Broughton graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1945. He flew combat during two tours of duty in the Korean War. After Korea, he commanded one of the first F-84F Thunderstreak squadrons and his team won the 1954 Bendix Trophy Race. He then commanded the THUNDERBIRDS aerial demonstration team, leading them through the transition from the straight-wing F-84G Thunderjet, to the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak, and then to become the world's first supersonic acrobatic team in the F-100C Super Sabre. He later authored two books, "Thud Ridge" and "Going Downtown" in which he discussed his perceptions and history of the air war over Southeast Asia. The latter book was based largely upon his subsequent courts martial for attacking Soviet ships in Haiphong Harbor. Colonel Broughton retired from the Air Force on August 31, 1968.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Colonel Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia while serving as Pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, in action over North Vietnam on 5 February 1967. On that date, Colonel Broughton was Mission Commander of a flight of a two wing F-105 Thunderchief strike force which attacked a heavily defended target in North Vietnam. Despite serious aircraft malfunctions, marginal weather, and grave damage to his aircraft from an exploding surface-to-air missile, he placed his armament directly on target, scattering fire and debris which illuminated the target for easy acquisition by the following strike force. Disregarding the crippled condition of his aircraft, which minimized his chances for recovery to friendly territory, Colonel Broughton then willfully acted as a decoy to divert hostile aircraft approaching the strike force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Colonel Broughton reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Order GB-188 (June 1, 1967)

Action Date: February 5, 1967

Service: Air Force

Company: Vice Commander

Regiment: 355th Tactical Fighter Wing

Division: Takhli Royal Thai Air Base

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, in action in Southeast Asia, on 4 December 1966. On that date, Colonel Broughton was element leader in the lead flight and Deputy Mission Commander of the strike force executed against a petroleum products storage area that is the principle source of supply for the airfield from which a large force of hostile interceptor operate. Despite extremely marginal weather conditions en route and in the target area, the threat of surface-to-air missiles and hostile interceptors and intense and accurate anti-aircraft artillery fire, Colonel Broughton completed an attack that destroyed a significant portion of the target defenses and greatly contributed to the success of the mission. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Colonel Broughton has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: December 4, 1966

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Vice Commander

Regiment: 355th Tactical Fighter Wing

Division: Takhli Royal Thai Air Base

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Colonel Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, in action in Southeast Asia, on 13 May 1967. On that date, Colonel Broughton was the Force Commander of a mission assigned to destroy a key rail junction and classification yard. Colonel Broughton led the forces precisely to the target in spite of adverse weather conditions, heavy flak barrages and surface-to-air missile attack. He completely silenced several anti-aircraft artillery sites in the immediate proximity of the target thereby greatly enabling the remainder of the forces to strike the target very effectively. As he led his flight from the target area, he observed a flight of MiG interceptors attacking another strike force in the area and with complete disregard for his personal welfare engaged the hostile aircraft. Even though he was below bingo fuel, Colonel Broughton continued his attack until his flight had damaged two of the interceptors and driven them from the other forces. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Colonel Broughton has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Special Order G-710 (May 20, 1967)

Action Date: May 13, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Vice Commander

Regiment: 355th Tactical Fighter Wing

Division: Takhli Royal Thai Air Base

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Major Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from 1 October 1954 through 4 March 1957 as Leader and Commander of the 359th Air Demonstration Flight (Thunderbirds). During this period, Major Broughton successfully guided his unit through a series of three different aircraft. The changes from F-84G to F-84F and finally to the F-100C aircraft, and establishing the Thunderbirds as the world's First Supersonic Air Demonstration Team, attests to his outstanding leadership ability. As Commander of the Thunderbirds, Major Broughton established an enviable record of never canceling a performance for reasons other than inclement weather. As leader and Commander, he led the Thunderbirds through one hundred and sixty-two aerial demonstrations witnessed by more than four and a half million spectators. The outstanding leadership, management ability and devotion to duty displayed by Major Broughton reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: October 1, 1954 - March 4, 1957

Service: Air Force

Rank: Major

Division: 359th Air Demonstration Flight (Thunderbirds)

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Korea.

Action Date: Korean War

Service: Air Force

Rank: Major

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.

Action Date: Vietnam War

Service: Air Force

Rank: Major

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V" to Colonel Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a combat pilot of a Republic F-105 Thunderchief in Southeast Asia from 26 September 1966 to 8 October 1966. During this period, Colonel Broughton was a flight leader of a project designed to reduce fighter aircraft posses to hostile ground fire. In order to obtain the most positive results, Colonel Broughton repeatedly maneuvered his aircraft to an extremely vulnerable position to be within effective range of the hostile anti-aircraft batteries and surface-to-air missile sites. With the mission of the Air Force foremost in his mind Colonel Broughton, with great risk of his life, contributed immeasurably to the success of the project. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Broughton reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: September 26 - October 8, 1966

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Colonel Jacksel Markham Broughton (AFSN: 0-17035), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief in Southeast Asia on 10 April 1967. On that date, Colonel Broughton courageously volunteered to perform RESCAP for a downed pilot in an area of intense ground fire. Arriving over the area of the downed pilot, he assumed command of the RESCAP operation and directed the rescue aircraft to the location of the downed aircrew. Colonel Broughton then interdicted a vulnerable road segment which prevented additional hostile ground forces from entering the area. Arriving back at the location of the downed pilot, he directed a disoriented pilot to a post strike refueling tanker. Colonel Broughton then exposed himself to the full fury of the defensive positions to allow his wingman the opportunity to acquire and attack these positions. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Broughton reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: April 10, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel