Bernard Fischer.

Position:In Memoriam

Col. Bernard Fisher, the first person awarded the Air Force-designed Medal of Honor, died Aug. 16 in Idaho at the age of 87. President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Fisher the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest honor for valor in combat, on Jan. 19, 1967 for "personal action above and beyond the call of duty" in South Vietnam.

In 1966, then-major Fisher, who was assigned to the 1st Air Commando Squadron at Pleiku, South Vietnam, risked his life to save his wingman after he was shot down during the battle of A Shau Valley, a narrow strip below the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam. "Fisher landed his Douglas A-1E Skyraider on an airfield controlled by the enemy under the most intense ground fire, pulled the downed pilot...

To continue reading