Medal of Honor. Graphic created by Virginia Reyes of the Air Force News Agency. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Although it was originally created for the Civil War, Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration in 1863. The current Air Force Version was approved in 1965.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for heroism in military action which this nation can bestow on a member of its Armed Forces. The first Medal of Honor won by an airman was awarded to Capt. Edward V. Rickenbacker for aerial combat in 1918.
The Air Force designed Medal of Honor was created on April 14, 1965. This medal was first presented by the president on Jan. 19, 1967, to Maj. Bernard F. Fisher for action in South Vietnam.
Members of the Air Force and its predecessor organizations have earned four Medals of Honor in World War I, 38 in World War II, four in the Korean War, and an additional number in the Vietnam War. Two more were presented by special Acts of Congress.
The Medal of Honor is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.
The following airmen have received the Medal of Honor: