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 Major Frederic M. Donohue, 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, Major Donohue courageously flew the first aircraft directly over the compound at an altitude of forty feet at less than twenty knots airspeed. He fired upon the greatest threats to the ground rescue party which was following less than twenty seconds behind his aircraft. So precise was fire from his aircraft that guard towers were neutralized within ten feet of suspected prisoner cantonment buildings. Major Donohue, without regard for his personal safety, immeasurably contributed to the complete confusion and disorganization of enemy forces. He successfully completed a daring return penetration through numerous surface-to-air missiles, ground fire, and the threat of enemy aircraft.