and organization: Warrant
Officer (then Sergeant First Class), U.S. Army, Advisory Team 162,
U.S. Military Assistance Command.
of Katum, Republic of Vietnam, 24 May 1970.
19 November 1938, Albuquerque,
WO Rocco distinguished himself when he volunteered to accompany
a medical evacuation team on an urgent mission to evacuate 8 critically
wounded Army of the Republic of Vietnam personnel. As the helicopter
approached the landing zone, it became the target for intense enemy
automatic weapons fire. Disregarding his own safety,
WO Rocco identified and placed accurate suppressive fire on the
enemy positions as the aircraft descended toward the landing zone.
Sustaining major damage from the enemy fire, the aircraft was forced
to crash land, causing WO Rocco to sustain a fractured wrist and
hip and a severely bruised back. Ignoring his injuries, he extracted
the survivors from the burning wreckage, sustaining burns to his
own body. Despite intense enemy fire, WO Rocco carried each unconscious
man across approximately 20 meters of exposed terrain to the Army
of the Republic of Vietnam perimeter. On each trip, his severely
burned hands and broken wrist caused excruciating pain, but the
lives of the unconscious crash survivors were more important than
his personal discomfort, and he continued his rescue efforts. Once
inside the friendly position, WO Rocco helped administer first aid
to his wounded comrades until his wounds and burns caused him to
collapse and lose consciousness. His bravery under fire and intense
devotion to duty were directly responsible for saving 3 of his fellow
soldiers from certain death. His unparalleled bravery in the face
of enemy fire, his complete disregard for his own pain and injuries,
and his performance were far above and beyond the call of duty and
were in keeping with the highest traditions of self-sacrifice and
courage of the military service.