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Uncommon Valor: Major Bernard Fisher

On March 10, 1966, Major Bernard Fisher took off in an A-1E Skyraider from Pleiku Air Base, South Vietnam. Instead of his normal mission, he was diverted to a US Special Forces camp in the A Shau Valley which was under heavy attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese troops.

Arriving over the valley, Maj Fisher led five other A-1Es down through a hole in the overcast skies to provide close air support to friendly forces.

Ground fire hit one of the Skyraiders and it crash landed on the camp’s airstrip. With a mass of enemy troops present, it appeared certain that the pilot would be captured before a rescue helicopter could reach him.

Quickly realizing the situation, Maj Fisher made a risky landing on the airstrip, complicated by its short length and jagged holes in the steel planking. As he taxied under fire to the crashed A-1, Fisher spotted the downed pilot and helped him aboard in the right seat of his A-1E.

Dodging shell holes and debris on the runway, Maj Fisher was able to take off safely while sustaining nineteen bullets hitting his aircraft.

For his daring rescue, Maj Fisher received the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House on March 19, 1967.

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