Flying Award Given To Chief Warrant Officer
There are many types of heroism, and recently there was another example that was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Army Chief Warrant Officer Zachary Johnson is a pilot in the 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in a special ceremony from Army Major General Joseph F. Fil Jr.
The medal was awarded because of actions taken in Najaf, Iraq by CWO Johnson. Johnson displayed fine leadership and heroic actions by flying into the face of danger leading an attack in Najaf, Iraq.
The amount of the enemy force was unknown, and not fearing for his own safety CWO Johnson flew his aircraft leading an attack. CWO Johnson was responding to a crash that had claimed the lives of two other Army pilots, both of who were his friends. CWO Cornell Chao and Captain Mark Resh crashed and were killed earlier in the day during the Najaf battle, and their crash site became the scene of instant and fierce fighting.
“Despite the odds being against us, CWO Johnson led the attack,” said Major General Fil. “We had nearly 600 enemy soldiers well dug in and fortified against us that day,” said General Fil.
CWO Johnson responded to the battlefield with his aircraft and began the fight in earnest.
Iraqi Soldiers and Coalition forces were close to being overwhelmed by sheer numbers. During a series of attacks CWO Johnson led organized runs on the enemy, before having to fly back to FOB Kalsu and re-supply and re arm. They then flew back to continue the attack. The battle was eventually successful for Coalition and Iraqi forces.
“I have never met someone that is as deserving of the Distinguished Flying Cross than CWO Johnson,” said Major General Fil.