CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
The Vietnam War - Southeast Asia - Northern Cambodia
Boung Long, Cambodia
Kenneth L. Copeland
Sergeant Kenneth L. Copeland distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force at a landing zone in Northern Cambodia from 23 June 1970 to 25 June 1970.
On these dates, Sergent Copeland was directing the unloading of three thousand Cambodian refugees, men, w0men and children, when the airfield came under intense hostile rocket, mortar and ground attack. As hundreds of refugees rushed to board the three C-7A aircraft, Sergeant Copeland rushed directly into the target area and halted the terrified refugees, thus enabling the helpless cargo aircraft to depart and escape damage and destruction.
Remaining in the open and exposing himself to the incoming rocket and mortar attack he ran some two hundred yards across an open field to aid his team in defending their position against the hostile forces. Attacks continued throughout the night and Sergeant Copeland's directions enabled air strikes by Friendly Forces to subdue the hostile attack.
His courageous action had saved the lives of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Rangers and the 200-300 civilian men, women and children who were waiting to evacuate.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Copeland has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. (Occurred in Boung Long, Cambodia)