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Gordon W. Heritage


Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Second Nicaraguan Campaign

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Staff Sergeant Gordon W. Heritage (MCSN: 195662), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an airplane pilot attached to Aircraft Squadrons, Second Marine Brigade, operating in the Republic of Nicaragua. On 22 July 1931, while a member of an aerial patrol on the Coco River, in the vicinity of Saclin, Nicaragua, he displayed such coolness, aggressiveness and accuracy in bombing against a large group of bandits that several bandits were killed and their fire silenced; this in the face of such heavy fire that his plane was hit sixteen times which undoubtedly caused a forced landing that was made only a few miles from the bandit group. In safely landing his plane, in leading his observer back to Puerto Cabezas over almost impassable terrain with overflowing rivers and miles of swamps, he displayed remarkable coolness, skill and judgment. During the period 16 to 22 July 1931, Staff Sergeant Heritage cheerfully accomplished every mission asked of him in the face of extremely bad flying conditions in such a manner that the operations in which he was cooperating with the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua against bandits were entirely successful.

Action Date: July 16 - 22, 1931

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Aircraft Squadrons

Regiment: 2d Marine Brigade (Nicaragua)