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Coast Guard History

Famous Coast Guardsmen


 

Lieutenant Jack C. Rittichier, USCG

A photo of Jack Rittichier
Coast Guard Aviator No. 997

Awards & Accompanying Citations
(if available)


Silver Star:

A Silver Star

CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF

THE SILVER STAR
(POSTHUMOUS)

TO
JACK C. RITTICHIER

 

LT JACK C RITTICHIER, United States Coast Guard, distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 9 June 1968.  On that date, LT RITTICHIER attempted the rescue of a downed pilot from one of the most heavily defended areas in Southeast Asia.  Despite intense accurate hostile fire which had severely damaged another helicopter, LT RITTICHIER, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill, established a hover and persisted in the rescue attempt until his aircraft was downed by the hostile fire.  By his gallantry and devotion to duty, LT RITTICHIER reflected great credit upon himself and the United Station Coast Guard.


Distinguished Flying Cross:

A Distinguished Flying Cross

By Direction of the President, LIEUTENANT JACK C RITTICHIER, 8148 (USCG) is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 21 April 1968.

CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF

THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
(POSTHUMOUS)
TO
JACK C. RITTICHIER
(UNITED STATES COAST GUARD)

Lieutenant JACK C RITTICHIER distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as Rescue Crew Copilot of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 21 April 1968.  On that date, Lieutenant RITTICHIER was instrumental in the rescue of four crew members of two United States Army helicopter gunships shot down by hostile ground fire.  With great determination and superior airmanship, Lieutenant RITTICHIER effected the rescue in the face of hostile ground fire.  The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant RITTICHIER reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Distinguished Flying Cross (First Oak Leaf Cluster):

An oak leaf

CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF

THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
(FIRST OAK LEAF CLUSTER)
(POSTHUMOUS)
TO
JACK C. RITTICHIER
(UNITED STATES COAST GUARD)

Lieutenant JACK C RITTICHIER distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Rescue Crew Copilot of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 2 May 1968.  On that date, Lieutenant RITTICHIER penetrated the extremely hostile, heavily defended A Shau Valley to investigate an aircraft crash site for possible survivors or confirmation of an aircrew fatality.  With great determination and superior airmanship, Lieutenant RITTICHIER braved numerous thunderstorms and hostile antiaircraft positions to complete this mission.  The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant RITTICHIER reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Distinguished Flying Cross (Second Oak Leaf Cluster):

An oak leaf

By Direction of the President, LIEUTENANT JACK C RITTICHIER, 8148 (USCG) is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Second Oak Leaf Cluster) for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 12 May 1968.

CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF

THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
(SECOND OAK LEAF CLUSTER)
(POSTHUMOUS)
TO
JACK C. RITTICHIER
(UNITED STATES COAST GUARD)

Lieutenant JACK C RITTICHIER distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as an HH-3E Rescue Crew Commander near Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, on 12 May 1968.  On that date, Lieutenant RITTICHIER twice entered an extremely hostile area to effect the rescue of four survivors of a downed helicopter and five seriously wounded personnel.  The survivors were located on an extremely small landing zone, surrounded by tall trees, on the side of a steep mountain slope.  With great determination and superior airmanship, Lieutenant RITTICHIER executed the second approach and departure at night by flarelight even though the distress site even though the distress site was obscured by smoke and clouds.  The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant RITTICHIER reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Purple Heart:

A Purple Heart

CITATION NOT ON FILE


The Air Medal:

An Air Medal

LIEUTENANT JACK COLUMBUS RITTICHIER
UNITED COAST GUARD RESERVE

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

 For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight on the afternoon of November 29, 1966 as copilot of a Coast Guard helicopter, engaged in the transfer of eight crewmen from the grounded West German Motor NORDMEER to the USCGC MACKINAW (WAGB 83).  Despite heavy snow, icing, turbulence and gale force winds, Lieutenant RITTICHIER skillfully assisted in navigating the helicopter 150 miles to the vicinity of the distressed vessel grounded on Thunder Bay Island Shoal in Lake Huron.  The final 80 miles of the route was flown through snow showers at 200 feet over the lake utilizing the shoreline for navigation.  Upon arrival he assisted in locating the vessel and establishing communications with the crew who advised that they were stranded on the forward deck, with no power or heat and desired immediate removal.  Lieutenant RITTICHIER aided the pilot in maneuvering the helicopter and accomplishing the hoist of the eight crewmen from the NORDMEER to the decks of the MACKINAW in less than 22 minutes.  Minutes after the operation was completed, the NORDMEER broke athwartships and her decks became awash.  Lieutenant RITTICHIER displayed expert airmanship throughout this perilous mission.  His initiative, skill, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.


The Air Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster):

An oak leaf

By Direction of the President, LIEUTENANT JACK C RITTICHIER, 8148 (USCG) is posthumously awarded the Air Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster) for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight on 4 May 1968.

Lieutenant Jack C. RITTICHIER distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 4 May 1968.  On that date, Lieutenant RITTICHIER entered the A Shau Valley, heavily defended by hostile forces and numerous antiaircraft sights [sic], and landed at a bomb cratered landing zone to prepare two downed helicopters for aerial recovery out of the hostile area.  Lieutenant RITTICHIER then on-loaded a crew, complete with all personnel equipment, and all portable aircraft equipment, and departed the landing zone littered with unexploded bombs and mines, for recovery to Da Nang Air Base.  The professional skill and airmanship displayed by Lieutenant RITTICHIER reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.  


The Air Medal (Second and Third Oak Leaf Cluster):

An oak leaf An oak leaf

CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF
THE AIR MEDAL
(SECOND AND THIRD OAK LEAF CLUSTER)
(POSTHUMOUS)
TO
JACK C. RITTICHIER
(UNITED STATES COAST GUARD)

Lieutenant JACK C RITTICHIER distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight as a combat crew member in Southeast Asia from 10 April 1968 to 9 June 1968.  During this period, Lieutenant RITTICHIER participated superbly in accomplishing highly intricate missions to support Free World Forces that were combatting [sic] aggression.  The energetic application of his knowledge and skill were significant factors that contributed greatly to furthering United States goals in Southeast Asia.  The professional ability and outstanding aerial accomplishments of Lieutenant RITTICHIER reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Presidential Unit Citation (awarded to the 37th ARRS for the period of 1 July 1967 to 31 January 1969).

A Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon

CLICK HERE FOR CITATION (pdf file)


Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm for the period 8 January 1966 to 29 December 1972  (citation for the 37th ARRS). 

A Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross

CITATION NOT ON FILE


Coast Guard Unit Commendation:

A Coast Guard Unit Commendation ribbon

CITATION NOT ON FILE


Vietnam Service Medal:

A Vietnam Service Medal


Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal:

A Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


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Last Modified 11/17/2014