In Memory of my Father,

Colonel Arthur Leo Chase (1935-1994)
Fighter Pilot, USAF (1958-1986)

Medals Awarded to My Father During His Career as an Air Force Fighter Pilot

Citation to Accompany the Award of The Distinguished Flying Cross To Arthur L. Chase

Captain Arthur L. Chase distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as an F-100 pilot at Bo Tuc, Republic of Vietnam on 20 December, 1967. In the pre-dawn hours of the date, Captain Chase led an alert flight in support of a friendly camp that was being hit hard by a large hostile force and in danger of being over-run. Captain Chase was restricted to dropping his ordnance low level, in marginal illumination conditions and parallel to a main line of quad fifty caliber machine gun positions while being silhouetted against a raging fire from an ammunition storage area. Despite these multiple hazards, Captain Chase elected to make multiple passes, dropping his bombs and strafing within 25 meters of friendly positions, with extraordinary accuracy. The intrepid courage and self sacrifice under intense hostile fire displayed by Captain Chase resulted in the saving of numerous friendly lives. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Chase reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

NOTE: You can learn more about the details of the mission described above at the Bo Tuc pages of the "Manchus" - the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry web site. My web page you are looking at now was discovered by a former soldier who was on the ground the night my Dad provided the air support for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and he sent me an email to let me know how much he and his fellow soldiers appreciated it.

In the picture above, then Major Arthur L. Chase is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while flying combat missions in Vietnam. Below I plan to include information about how my Father earmed each medal once I have it. For the time being I have included information about the history of the medal or citation and general requirements for earning it.
Silver Star

The Silver Star stands as the United States' third highest award for combat valor. Established on July 16, 1932, the Silver Star actually traces its history back to the silver Citation Star, established on July 9, 1918. The Citation Star was a silver star device which was attached to the service ribbon of the campaign medal for which the individual was cited in official orders for gallantry in action. While the degree of heroism required to earn the Silver Star is less than that required for the Medal of Honor or Distinguished Service Medal, it must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction.

Distinguished Flying Cross
with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

The Distinguished Flying Cross was established in 1926. From that time until the outbreak of WWII it was used primarily to recognize the achievements of aviation pioneers. Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart were among the first to receive the award. In 1927 award of the DFC became restricted to military personnel. Award criteria now demands heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.

Bronze Star with Valor Device

The Bronze Star was originally established in 1944 to recognize the unique sacrifices of infantry soldiers during WWII. However, the award was quickly expanded to include members of all the Armed Forces. Award of the Bronze Star Medal can be made for acts of Valor in combat or for acts of meritorious service within a combat theater. When awarded for valor, a small bronze "V" device is attached to the ribbon.

Meritorious Service Medal
with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters

The Meritorious Service Medal was first proposed in 1938. However it was not until 1969 that the medal was approved. The MSM remains the only achievement award that is restricted to peace-time use. During time of war, the MSM is replaced by the Bronze Star.

Air Medal
with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters

The Air Medal was established in 1942 specifically to protect the prestige of the DFC. When the Distinguished Flying Cross was established, no one could have foreseen the extent of aerial combat that World War II was witness to. To protect the importance of the DFC from being diminished, the Air Medal was established as the aerial equivalent of the Bronze Star.

Joint Services Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Presidential Unit Citation

The Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) was established by Executive Order in February 1942 as the Distinguished Unit Badge. The name was changed in 1966 to the Presidential Unit Citation. The award recognized the same degree of combat heroism by a unit as the Distinguished Service Cross does for an individual.

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device
with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters

Prior to its establishment as a separate branch of the Armed Forces and the establishment of the Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force used Army unit awards to recognize the meritorious service of its units. Established in January 1954, the AFOUA can recognize either combat valor or meritorious service.  When awarded for combat valor, the "V" device is worn on the ribbon.

Combat Readiness Medal

The Combat Readiness Medal was established on March 9, 1964 to recognize members of units who are, both individually and as a unit, certified as combat or mission ready for a two year period.

National Defense Service Medal

The National Defense Service Medal was originally established on April 22, 1953. There have been three periods of qualifying service; the first was from June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954, the second from January 1, 1961 to August 14, 1974, and the third from August 2, 1990 through November 30, 1995.

Vietnam Defense Service Medal
with 3 Bronze Stars

Authorized by Executive Order 11231 on July 8, 1965 and awarded to all service members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served in Vietnam and the contiguous waters, and airspace, in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia or airspace in direct support of military operations in Vietnam between July 3, 1965 and March 28, 1973.

Air Force Longevity Service Award with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

Instituted: 1950. Criteria: Awarded for valor and heroic conduct while fighting the enemy. Notes: Palm device is citation for unit awards & for medal award at Army or higher level.

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Instituted: 1966 Dates: 1965-1973 Criteria: 6 months service in the Republic of Vietnam between 1965 and 1973 or if wounded, captured or killed in action during 1965-1973. Notes: Bar inscribed 1960- is the only authorized version.


Ribbon Images courtesy of Grunt, The Ultimate Military Site
US Medal Descriptions courtesy of
Medalman's Home Page
Medal Images and Foreign Medal descriptions courtesy of
Medals of America
Order of Precedence determined from US MIlitary Medals

In Memory of my Father, Col. Arthur L. Chase, Fighter Pilot, USAF
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This web site was created by Glenn Chase on a Power Macintosh for Father's Day, 1999 and remains a work in progress.

Last modified on: Mon, Mar 26, 2001 at 1:23 am.