Medal of Honor Awards in the Air Force By Note: This exhibit is located in Kettering Hall. 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: 1st Lt. Edward V. Rickenbacker 2nd Lt. Frank Luke Jr. 1st Lt. Harold E. Goettler 2nd Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley Brig. Gen. James H. Doolittle Capt. Harl Pease Jr. Lt. Col. Pierpont M. Hamilton Col. Demas T. Craw Brig. Gen. Kenneth N. Walker 1st Lt. Jack W. Mathis Sgt. Maynard H. Smith 2nd Lt. Joseph R. Sarnoski Maj. Jay Zeamer Jr. 2nd Lt. John C. Morgan 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes Lt. Col. Addison E. Baker Maj. John L. Jerstad Col. Leon W. Johnson Col. John R. Kane Maj. Ralph Cheli Col. Neel E. Kearby Maj. Raymond H. Wilkins Tech. Sgt. Forrest L. Vosler Lt. Col. James H. Howard Sgt. Archibald Mathies 2nd Lt. Walter E. Truemper 1st Lt. William R. Lawley Jr. 1st Lt. Edward S. Michael Lt. Col. Leon R. Vance Jr. 2nd Lt. David R. Kingsley 1st Lt. Donald D. Pucket Capt. Darrell R. Lindsey Maj. Richard I. Bong Maj. Horace S. Carswell Jr. 2nd Lt. Robert E. Femoyer 1st Lt. Donald J. Gott 2nd Lt. William E. Metzger Jr. Brig. Gen. Frederick W. Castle Maj. Thomas B. McGuire Maj. William A. Shomo Staff Sgt. Henry E. Erwin 1st Lt. Raymond L. Knight Maj. Louis J. Sebille Capt. John S. Walmsley Jr. Maj. George A. Davis Jr. Maj. Charles J. Loring Jr. Maj. Bernard F. Fisher Capt. Hilliard A. Wilbanks Maj. Merlyn H. Dethlefsen Lt. Col. Leo K. Thorsness Capt. Gerald O. Young Lt. Col. Joe M. Jackson Lt. Col. William A. Jones III Capt. James P. Fleming Sgt. John L. Levitow Capt. Steven L. Bennett Col. George E. Day Capt. Lance P. Sijan Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etcherger Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman In addition to those Air Force flyers who have received the Medal of Honor for exceptional bravery in aerial combat, four other have received similar noncombatant recognition. Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh Brig. Gen. William Mitchell Brig. Gen. Charles E. Yeager Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker Click here to return to the Other Exhibits index.