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 Lieutenant Colonel John V. Allison, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Aircraft Commander of 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, Lieutenant Colonel Allison flew a helicopter loaded with Special Forces troops into an extremely hostile environment. Prior to landing, he recognized that circumstances existing in the vicinity of the objective were considerably different than expected. He correctly assessed the new conditions, and at risk of life under adverse circumstances and without direction, implemented an alternate plan. Acting on his own, Colonel Allison's decision to undertake a new plan and deliver sustained accurate fire on the major enemy threat, a guard billet played a large part in the tactical success of the operation. After all buildings were searched, Colonel Allison, without regard for his personal safety, landed and picked up and safely returned his troops through heavy surface-to-air missile activity. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Lieutenant Colonel Allison reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.