Major Patrick Henry Brady
Major Patrick Henry Brady (Vietnam)
Patrick Henry Brady was born October 1, 1936, in Phillip, North Dakota. His family soon moved to Seattle, Washington, where Patrick attended O’Dea High School – an all-boys school run by the congregation of Christian Brothers. He was active in sports. He graduated from Seattle University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps in 1959 through the university’s ROTC program. He served in Berlin, Germany, with the 279th Station Hospital. In 1963 he graduated from the U.S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
His next assignment was with the 57th Medical Detachment in Vietnam. After the death of his commanding officer, Brady assumed command of the unit’s Detachment A. On his second tour, now a Major, Brady was second in command of the 54th Medical Detachment. It was during this tour of duty that Major Brady was awarded the Medal of Honor.
On June 6, 1986, while flying near Chu Lai, Vietnam, Major Brady earned the Medal of Honor. His citation reads, in part: Major “Brady distinguished himself while serving in the Republic of Vietnam commanding a UH-1H ambulance helicopter, volunteered to rescue wounded men from a site in enemy held territory which was reported to be heavily defended and to be blanketed by fog. To reach the site he descended through heavy fog and smoke and hovered slowly along a valley trail, turning his ship sideward to blow away the fog with the backwash from his rotor blades. Despite the unchallenged, close-range enemy fire, he found the dangerously small site, where he successfully landed and evacuated 2 badly wounded South Vietnamese soldiers. He was then called to another area completely covered by dense fog where American casualties lay only 50 meters from the enemy. Two aircraft had previously been shot down and others had made unsuccessful attempts to reach this site earlier in the day. With unmatched skill and extraordinary courage, Maj. Brady made 4 flights to this embattled landing zone and successfully rescued all the wounded. On his third mission of the day Maj. Brady once again landed at a site surrounded by the enemy. The friendly ground force, pinned down by enemy fire, had been unable to reach and secure the landing zone. Although his aircraft had been badly damaged and his controls partially shot away during his initial entry into this area, he returned minutes later and rescued the remaining injured. Shortly thereafter, obtaining a replacement aircraft, Maj. Brady was requested to land in an enemy minefield where a platoon of American soldiers was trapped. A mine detonated near his helicopter, wounding 2 crewmembers and damaging his ship. In spite of this, he managed to fly 6 severely injured patients to medical aid. Throughout that day Ma