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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Air Force

Bernard Francis Fisher

  • Rank: Major (Highest Rank: Colonel)
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Air Commandos,
    United States Air Force
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Air Force
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 10, 1966
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Bien Hoa and Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On that date, the Special Forces camp at A Shau was under attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars. Hostile troops had positioned themselves between the airstrip and the camp. Other hostile troops had surrounded the camp and were continuously raking it with automatic-weapons fire from the surrounding hills. The tops of the 1,500-foot hills were obscured by an 800 foot ceiling, limiting aircraft maneuverability and forcing pilots to operate within range of hostile gun positions, which often were able to fire down on attacking aircraft. During the battle, Maj. Fisher observed a fellow airman crash land on the battle-torn airstrip. In the belief that the downed pilot was seriously injured and in imminent danger of capture, Maj. Fisher announced his intention to land on the airstrip to effect a rescue. Although aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt, he elected to continue. Directing his own air cover, he landed his aircraft and taxied almost the full length of the runway, which was littered with battle debris and parts of an exploded aircraft. While effecting a successful rescue of the downed pilot, heavy ground fire was observed, with 19 bullets striking his aircraft. In the face of withering ground fire, he applied power and gained enough speed to lift-off at the overrun of the airstrip. Maj. Fisher's profound concern for his fellow airman, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Kuna, Ada County, Idaho
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 19, 1967

    The White House, presented by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson

  • Born: January 11, 1927, San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, CA, United States
  • Died: August 16, 2014, Kuna, ID, United States
  • Buried: Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise, ID, United States

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