Citation to Accompany the Award ofThe Air Force Cross
Thomas A. Newman
Sergeant Thomas A. Newman distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-3E Helicopter Pararescue Specialist in Southeast Asia, on 30 May 1968. On that date, Sergeant Newman voluntarily descended into a hostile jungle environment to rescue a downed Air Force pilot. With complete disregard for his own life, and hampered by darkness and concentrated automatic weapons fire, he requested the rescue helicopter above him to enter a nearby orbit, both for the safety of the crewmembers and to prevent the hovering aircraft from establishing the survivor's location for the unfriendly ground forces. When the rescue helicopter returned, he secured the injured airman to the forest penetrator and protected him with his own body as they ascended to the helicopter. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Sergeant Newman reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.