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 Captain Thomas Jerry Curtis, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Senior Pilot of an HH-43B helicopter of Detachment 3, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, in action 40 miles south of Vinh, North Vietnam on 20 September 1965. On that date, Captain Curtis participated in an extremely hazardous attempted recovery of a downed pilot. This mission required a flight of over 80 miles, mostly over hostile controlled territory. Evaluation of the environment in which the downed pilot was located indicated that maximum performance would be demanded from each crewmember if successful recovery was to be effected. Though exposed to intensive hostile ground fire, Captain Curtis, with complete disregard for his own safety, performed with courage and professional precision in a supreme effort to rescue a fallen comrade. Captain Curtis' courageous action and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American fighting man under attack by an opposing armed force. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Curtis reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.