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 Herbert D. Kalen, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as an Aircraft Commander of an HH-3E 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 Kalen volunteered to rescue and extract United States military personnel held as Prisoners of War deep inside the territory of North Vietnam. Major Kalen was faced with the most intense counter-air environment in the history of aerial warfare involving surface-to-air missiles. He masterfully executed the complicated maneuvers to evade the enemy's air defense systems. Knowing that a grave danger existed in that the guards within the Prisoner of War compound may have been alerted, he valorously, fearlessly and successfully flew the helicopter with an assault group into the compound yard, knowing that he must crash-land the helicopter in an area much too small for safe landing. Once the landing was completed, he further assisted the assault group in its ground operation mission. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Major Kalen reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.