Editor’s note: This Veterans Day Voice of OC is publishing a series of plaques honoring some of Orange County’s most decorated veterans. Eugene Brady was in York, Pennsylvania on March 27, 1928 and died on June 9, 2011. He was the recipient of the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Purple Heart.
Col. Eugene R. Brady, U.S.M.C.
Citation: Navy Cross
War: Vietnam War
Colonel Eugene R. Brady, received the Navy Cross for his extraordinary heroism and intrepidity in action while commanding Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, in combat operations against the enemy in Vietnam. On 15 May 1969, the then Lieutenant Colonel Brady launched as commander of the transport helicopter assigned the mission of medically evacuating several seriously wounded Marines from an area Northwest of an HOA in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designed location, he was advised by the Ground Commander that the vastly outnumbered unit was surrounded by the enemy, some as close as thirty meters to the Marines’ positions. Fully aware of the dangers involved, and despite the rapidly approaching darkness and deteriorating weather conditions, Colonel Brady elected to complete his mission. As he commenced a high-speed, low altitude approach to the landing zone, he came under heavy volume of hostile automatic weapons fire which damaged his aircraft but did not deter him from landing. During the considerable period of time required to embark the casualties, the landing zone was subjected to intense enemy mortar fire, several rounds of which landed perilously close to the transport, rendering additional damage to the helicopter. However, Colonel Brady displayed exceptional composure as he calmly relayed hostile firing positions to fixed-wing aircraft overhead and steadfastly remained in his dangerously exposed position until all the wounded man were safely aboard. Demonstrating superb airmanship, he then executed a series of very evasive maneuvers as he lifted from the fire swept zone, and subsequently delivered the casualties to the nearest medical facility. His heroic and determined actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of eight fellow Marines. By his courage, superior aeronautical ability, and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of grace personal danger, Colonel Brady upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Col. Brady joined the Legion of Valor in 1971.
Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS
More about Col. Eugene R. Brady:
- Hall of Valor (Military Times)
- Summary of Significant Career Events
- Voice of OC to Publish Series on Veterans Memorial Plaques