A DFC for Hog Pilot

The Air Force has awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross to Maj. Daniel Clayton, an A-10 pilot with the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan AB, South Korea. Clayton received the award for his actions during a nighttime combat search and rescue operation in Afghanistan in summer 2007 when he served as airborne rescue mission commander. He and his wingman, Capt. Ryan Hill, went to the aid of a downed CH-47 helicopter on May 30, 2007, coordinating the efforts of multiple assets, including several other aircraft and more than a hundred ground forces, said Clayton. “Under our control, this combined force continuously engaged Taliban insurgents attempting to reach the crash site and attack friendly forces,” explained Clayton, who is chief of standardization and evaluation with the 51st Operations Group at Osan. Unfortunately, there were no survivors, but force Clayton controlled changed to protection of the ground forces as they moved in to recover fallen comrades. He said, “It was an honor and a privilege to support them and ensure they all safely made it out of that situation.” (Osan report by SSgt. Candy Knight)