It is my pleasure to make an historic announcement. Observation Squadron Sixty-Seven ( VO-67 ) has received the Navy Presidential Unit Citation for its actions during the Vietnam War. This announcement, from the Secretary of the Navy ,comes almost forty years after this unique ultra secret squadron performed with courage and valor along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and in support of the Marine combat base at Khe Sanh , South Vietnam in 1968.
Some interesting history:
1. No PUC’s have ever been awarded to either a P-2 Neptune or a P-3 Orion squadron in Naval history. Thirteen patrol squadrons received the PUC during WW-2. These units operated PBY-4 and PBY-5 aircraft.
The VO-67 web site will be up-graded to reflect this change shortly after Christmas. Citation will be posted at that time.
Great work on behalf of the Ghost Squadron Kerry, Alex and all !!
Bob Reynolds VO-67 Association VP
I received this letter on December 22, 2007.
TO ALL VO-67 PERSONNEL AND FRIENDS OF VO-67:
Since November 22, 2002 Kerry and Maxine Bignall, along with CDR A.G.Alexander, have worked tirelessly in pursuit of the Presidential Unit Citation for VO-67. After five years and with the help of many others Kerry Bignall was notified by the Naval Awards Board in Washington, DC that VO-67 is hereby awarded the Presidential Unit Citation on December 20, 2007. VO-67 has set a Naval precedent by having their Navy Unit Commendation upgraded to the Presidential Unit Citation. This award is bestowed on all personnel who served with VO-67, in the air and on the ground. The Presidential Unit Citation is the unit equivalent to the personal award of the Navy Cross.
This would not have been made possible without the help of the following:
U.S. Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID)
Josh Callihan, USMC Congressional Aide
Vicky Fulton, Congressional Secretary
LtCol James B. Wilkinson USMC (Ret)
LtCol Kenneth W. Pipes USMC (Ret)
LtCDR Ray W. Stubbe USN (Ret)
VO-67 Personnel who wrote letters and their Congressmen who responded
Navy Awards Board – CDR Leslie Priest USN (Ret)
Bill Rutledge USN (Ret) HAL-3
In honor of all VO-67 personnel I am very happy to have been able to serve
VO-67 in this pursuit.
Kerry R. Bignallt
Bob,This is another Great day for VO 67. For those that dont know the significance of this Decoration. IT IS THE EQUIVILANT OF VO 67 being awarded the NAVY CROSS TO THE ENTIRE SQD.
The Small part i played was neglible, I just planted the Seed and helped with the initial Paperwork. I give Credit where it is due. for without the Dedication and Perserverance of ADJ2 KERRY BIGNALL and CDR ALEXANDER who never gave up this would never have happened. WHAT AN HONOR to be the only VP Sqd to recieve this decoration since WW11.
AECS Bill Rutledge
VO 67 associate Member
HAL 3 Seawolf Door Gunner
Congratulations to you all... you deserve all that this will bring. And please... someone send my dad a pair of Depends... he's so happy he is about to pee himself! Good on 'ya
Thanks guys! I had no clue that we were given any awards, and the original poster mentioned we had a unit citation? Is this correct? And if so, am I eligible to wear that unit citation?
Thanks again for the great work guys!
P.S. Alexander, do you need an order of Depends too? Mine are already on the way... haha!
In answer to "Whitey" , everyone who was in the squadron at any time is allowed to wear the Presidential Unit Commendation ribbon. As shown on the website, it goes to the top since it is equal to the Navy Cross.
Great news! Thanks to all of you who worked so hard, esp. Kerry & Alex. What great timing as well, to coincide in time for the 2009 reunion. What else could be more perfect than to have the 2009 reunion in DC for the presentation of the award.
Congratulations VO-67 on receiving the Presidential Unit Citation after all these years! As an ex Navy man I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I believe at this time proper credit should be given to the individuals whose hard work, unselfish dedication, and steadfast determination accomplished this unprecedented feat. The following individuals Kerry and Maxine Bignall with the advisement of CDR A.G. Alexander and the support of U.S. Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID) and his office were the main spearheads of this action for 5 long years. Special thanks go to Josh Callihan (USMC), congressional aide to Bill Sali. Without his belief and support this would not have been possible. Respectfully, R. Bignall (USN)
Well put Big nalls JR. i myself am surprised at the lack of postings from the VO 67 Os /Es for such an outstanding event. This should be written up and placed in every Military and Historical Magazine available to further the History of VO 67. Navy TImes, Wings of Gold, Navy Historical, Tailhook, Approach, just to name a few.