The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Colonel Warner A. Britton, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Helicopter Flight Leader aboard an HH-53 Rescue Helicopter of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group, as part of an all-volunteer joint U.S. Army and Air Force raiding force in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed heliborne assault mission to rescue United States military personnel held as prisoners of war at Son Tay prison in North Vietnam, on 21 November 1970. On that date, Colonel Britton led a flight of troop-carrying helicopters on a night mission into an extremely hostile environment in the heart of North Vietnam. Although initial conditions following off-loading troops in the objective area were considerably different than planned, he correctly assessed the new circumstances and at risk of life under direct close range ground fire, again landed, picked up a load of troops, and moved them to a new location. His final departure from the objective area was through an intense array of surface-to-air missiles which he evaded with calm, exceptional flying skill. Colonel Britton, without regard for his personal safety, contributed immeasurably to the tactical success of the rescue attempt. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Colonel Britton reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.