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 Staff Sergeant Jon D. Harston, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Helicopter Flight Mechanic on board a CH-53 helicopter of the 21st Special Operations Squadron, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, in action on 15 May 1975, at Koh Tang Island, Cambodia. On that date, while engaged in the rescue of the crew and recovery of the S.S. MAYAGUEZ, Staff Sergeant Harston's helicopter encountered extremely heavy hostile fire and crashed at the shoreline of Koh Tang Island. Although wounded in the leg, Sergeant Harston reentered the burning aircraft and led three Marines to safety. As the survivors of the crash swam away from the beach, Sergeant Harston provided covering fire. He returned to the wrecked helicopter again to pull out another wounded Marine. He then kept himself and two wounded Marines afloat with his damaged life preserver until they were rescued by a navy destroyer approximately three hours later. Through his extraordinary heroism and willpower, in the face of the enemy, Staff Sergeant Harston reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.