William Hughes

William Hughes’s heroism led to the saving of countless lives in Vietnam. In February 1965, the Viet Cong attacked the village of Binh Gia. A massive air assault was launched and four helicopters were shot down. He ran through heavy automatic weapons fire to the downed aircraft, repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire while rescuing over 20 wounded. In March 1965, Bill led the medical effort at the bombed U.S. Embassy. He treated dozens of wounded and was honored by the Ambassador for his actions. Bill intended to remain with DUSTOFF, but fate intervened after 20 months of combat. On 12 November 1965, Bill’s helicopter was struck and a bullet tore through his upper thigh, rupturing his femoral artery. He was the first DUSTOFF medic to be severely wounded and evacuated from Vietnam. The DUSTOFF tradition is epitomized by men like Bill Hughes, who saved over 800 patients, typically under heavy enemy fire. William Hughes was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 11 February 2006.


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